BPCC agreement expands educational opportunities for law enforcement

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Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington, left, and BPCC Chancellor Dr. Rick Bateman, right, sign MOU Monday.

By Stacey Tinsley & Sean Green, newsroom@bossierpress.com

Bossier Parish Community College sent a message that it recognizes the capabilities of local law enforcement by offering expanded training opportunities.

BPCC signed an Memorandums of Understanding Monday with local law enforcement agencies to provide expanded educational opportunities for peace officers completing the Louisiana POST (Police Officers Standards and Training) Council for law enforcement officers.

The MOU for POST Commissioned Law Enforcement officers grants academic recognition for their very stringent police academy training. Officials said it is an opportunity for BPCC to help the local law enforcement community by awarding 15 hours of criminal justice college credit to those with POST Commissions while working on the Criminal Justice Degree at Bossier Parish Community College.

“This is a well deserved opportunity for law enforcement. It says we, as a college, recognize the unbelievable amount of training you have been through,” said Dan Cain, BPCC’s program coordinator and instructor of Criminal Justice. “What most people don’t realize is you do the physical but you’ve got to perform at the highest level academically.”

Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington said the goal with the MOU is to give his staff an incentive to grow and expand their education.

“We realize how important education is to our profession. We know what a jewel we have here at BPCC. By doing this, we can hopefully get people started towards an associate or bachelors degree,” Sheriff Whittington said.

BPCC Chancellor Dr. Rick Bateman said this expanded MOU matches the college’s goal of excellence with the POST Academy’s focus on excellence.

“We have a vision of becoming the premier community college in America. We have some amazing pockets of excellence that exist at this college and our criminal justice program is that,” he said. “I’m exited about this opportunity. We continue to do this and find ways to expand [the MOU] even more. I don’t think that our law enforcement community can find an institution that respects more what they do and appreciates what they do.”

Cain added that the signing shows BPCC recognizes a need for officers to continue education so they can continue to produce highly skilled personnel.

“What we have in northwest Louisiana is second to none. We have something we should be proud of. I know the output, the officer that comes out of that academy, what they’re capable of doing. It needs to be recognized,” he added.