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July 5, 2007

ULM criminal justice students to receive opportunity to become POST-certified while in college

Criminal justice students at the University of Louisiana at Monroe received welcome news as Governor Kathleen Blanco signed Senate Bill 194, which will ultimately give them the opportunity to become POST-certified police officers in Louisiana as part of their college curriculum.

Senator Robert Barham, R-Oak Ridge, introduced this bill at the request of Harold Williamson, the head of ULM’s criminal justice department. It passed unanimously with no nays and few absences in both houses of the legislature.

“This should enhance the criminal justice program in that it gives students a truly marketable circumstance—they can go to work immediately at any local agency in Louisiana without having to become certified at cost to the agency in money and time,” said Williamson. “Agencies tend to favor those applicants who are already POST-certified when making their hiring decisions.”

Participating students will attend the North Delta Regional Training Academy, a component of the criminal justice department, during the summer months for 12 weeks (approximately May 15 to Aug. 15). This bill allows their certification to remain in effect without full-time employment for a period of two years.

The criminal justice department currently plans the inaugural offering of this six-hour course to run through both summer sessions in 2008.

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