SPEEDWAY — On the job training went one step further Monday for four IUPUI students as they were sworn in as Speedway Police officers in a ceremony that marks the birth of a new program between the university and the police department.
The internship program is one that allows students who are in the school of public and environmental affairs (SPEA) and are Indiana University Police Department officers to become official members of the Speedway Police Department, where they will earn a professional credit for their hours of service.
“I think the real value is the partnership we’ve got with SPEA, IUPUI, and the SPD and this is a win-win for the students and for the university,” Speedway Police Chief James Campbell said at the ceremony at Speedway Town Hall. “This is one where they’re going to gain practical experience being in the field, to interviews when it comes time to talk about what your experience is, and that practical experience as well as academic credit they bring with them. This program has got to be the best in the state as far as preparing officers to go into law enforcement.”
Kathleen Hursh, assistant director of career services of SPEA at IUPUI, said, “They will earn one credit hour. It’s a professional experience because they’ve already completed all their internship credits, so they’re required to have 120 hours of contact for that one credit hour. For an internship, typically it’s 80 hours, so this is quite extensive.
Terry Baumer, executive associate dean of SPEA, added, “The good thing about this program is that these are some of the top students in the criminal justice program and the IUPD program that gives them basic police training. They finish the academy, they are certified police officers, and those students move on. But this sort of takes it a step further and a department takes on more than one officer at a time, moves them on, gives them their general orders for the department, and the specific training for when they move on. It’s a nice deal for everybody involved.”
Campbell explained the next steps for the students, and the potential future of the program.
“Their duties will be the same as a regular police officer,” he said. “Once they complete our regular field training program, and even that’s condensed because these are already Indiana Law Enforcement Academy graduates and they’re certified police officers, we just need to make sure they know local ordinances and the department.
“That’s the benefit to us. They come prepared. They’re ready to go to work. We’re probably not the only department that could benefit from this. I think it shows the academic (community) and law enforcement coming together. I see this as a program that expands. This will be our first try at it, but I can’t help but think this will be successful and I think from a college experience standpoint, you can’t buy this kind of experience. This is something that when you come to IUPUI that you’ll be afforded that you can’t get anywhere else.”
Campbell also noted that one of the major benefits of the program is that by working in Speedway, home of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the students will get the chance to get “major event training that few other departments can offer.”
The IUPD cadet program is one that allows full-time undergraduate students to work part-time for the IUPUI Police Department. Those that complete their first year may attend the Indiana Law Enforcement Training Academy during summer break and receive the same training required of all Indiana law enforcement officers.
The inaugural cadets sworn in were Kevin Kinghorn, Nathan Schaller, Andrew Danner, and David Wheeler.