WORCESTER, Mass. (WBZ NewRadio) – A college in Worcester has become the only Massachusetts community college to run its own full-time police academy.
Quinsigamond Community College’s Police Academy is expanding its hours to hold classes on nights and weekends. QCC said these extended hours will meet the needs of QCC student officers who may not be able to attend a traditional full-time police academy during the day.
“The QCC Police Academy is authorized by the Municipal Police Training Committee (MPTC) to conduct entry-level police training for full-time police officers,” said QCC’s Police Academy Deputy Director Captain Joseph P. Cecchi. “Graduates of QCC’s Police Academy will have the ability to apply directly to police agencies, pending the hiring standards and requirements of that police department.”
A survey from the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) found that 78% of law enforcement agencies reported having difficulty in recruiting qualified candidates. 65% of those agencies reported having too few candidates applying to be law enforcement officers. QCC’s Police Academy is addressing this struggle by expediting the qualification process.
“If a police department hires an applicant, the department must send them to a Recruit Officer Course at a MPTC Police Academy,” Captain Cecchi explained, “unless they are already full-time graduates of an MPTC-authorized police academy, such as the QCC Police Academy.”
By operating on a full-time basis, QCC student officers can participate in the same activities and training as other MPTC-authorized police academies. The college’s full-time academy class currently consists of 14 student officers who come from diverse backgrounds, but all have the same desire to protect and serve.
“I have always felt compelled to help anyone I can and I feel becoming a police officer is a great way to help my community,” said QCC Student Officer Coryn Dias. “I chose to apply to the QCC Police Academy because it was an overall amazing opportunity for me.”
The program began in mid-September 2021 and student officers will graduate on May 27, 2022. QCC will be hosting informational sessions in the future and more information about the academy can be found online.