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Peace officer graduation

By   Erin Wood

Lake Region State College will hold graduation ceremonies for students who have completed the summer Peace Officer Training academies in Fargo and Grand Forks.

Fourteen students will graduate from the Grand Forks academy Wednesday, August 15. The ceremonies will take place at 1:00 pm in the Empire Arts Center in Grand Forks.

The summer academy in Fargo will graduate 19 students. Ceremonies will be Thursday, August 16 at 11:00 in Festival Concert Hall, Reineke Fine Arts Center NDSU.  

The Fargo academy has run each summer since 2002 and Grand Forks since 2010.

The Peace Officer Training Program is a one-semester basic police academy that results in license eligibility for program graduates. Unlike traditional college criminal justice programs, graduates are immediately hirable by law enforcement agencies as the students have completed all necessary training to obtain a peace officer license in North Dakota, said John Maritato, director of LRSC’s Peace Officer Program.

“The program has an almost 100 percent employment rate for graduates that actively pursue a position as a full-time police officer or deputy sheriff in North Dakota,” Maritato said.

A fall academy will start next week in Devils Lake at LRSC’s main campus with spring academies planned in Minot and Bismarck this January.

Lake Region State College began training police officers in 1987. Since that time, the college has produced more than 1,500 license-eligible graduates that have been hired by almost 120 different North Dakota law enforcement agencies.  Instructors for the program include law enforcement professionals from various law enforcement agencies, including members of police departments, sheriff’s departments, the N.D. Highway Patrol, the N.D. Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and the college’s faculty.