Merrimack College is pleased to announce it has received authorization from the Massachusetts Municipal Police Training Committee (MPTC) to launch the Merrimack College Police Academy beginning September 2021. Student officers will complete the full-time academy while concurrently enrolled in the Master of Science in Criminology & Criminal Justice program. Certification through the Merrimack College Police Academy is transferable to municipal, University of Massachusetts, and Environmental police departments across the Commonwealth.
The Merrimack College Police Academy’s mission is to provide education and training to the next generation of police leaders and to provide municipal police departments with a highly trained, diverse group of officers. With a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, the Merrimack College Police Academy will modernize police education and training using evidence-based policy and practice in an effort to advance police reform and prepare officers to overcome the challenges faced by law enforcement in the 21st century.
The Merrimack College Police Academy provides unique advantages over the traditional academy process in Massachusetts. Traditionally, police recruits are first hired by a police department and then sponsored by that department through their academy training. The Merrimack Academy allows student officers to self-sponsor through the support of the Merrimack College Police Department, receiving their academy certification prior to being employed by a municipality. When Merrimack College Police Academy graduates enter the job market, they will be state-certified, able to start work immediately, and hold a Master’s degree, making them profoundly desirable candidates and more highly educated officers. No other programs in Massachusetts provide this opportunity.
The educational and training opportunity afforded to Merrimack College students through the MS in CCJ and Police Academy is innovative. Merrimack College has been chosen for this program because the Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice has demonstrated a commitment to improving police training and education in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.The partnership will help inform and guide police reforms, increase the focus on diversity in law enforcement, and improve the training curriculum through research and evaluation.
This article originally ran in Merrimack College’s The Record on March 11, 2021.