As part of its long-running expertise in conservation law enforcement education, Unity College is hosting students participating in the Maine Criminal Justice Academy Law Enforcement Pre-Service Training Program.
To participate, students must pass a rigorous physical fitness test, in-depth background check by a sponsoring agency, and successfully complete a 40-hour online training followed by an exam. Students also must receive medical clearance and meet minimum age requirements.
The program is focused on providing competence in six basic areas: Knowledge, Understanding, Skills, Value, Attitude and Interest, according to Maine Criminal Justice Academy Director John B. Rogers in his welcome letter to students.
Upon completion of the three phases of the program, students are certified to serve as law enforcement officers with the power to make arrests or carry a firearm in Maine, typically as a seasonal, part-time or deputy law enforcement officer. The elements of the certification process include weapons certification, a knowledge test, and supervision by an employing agency.
Students will attend class on campus at Unity College this week. There are 17 students enrolled in Phase II study at the college, including five Unity College undergraduates studying for their BS degrees in Conservation Law Enforcement.
“It is with great enthusiasm that Unity College opens its doors to the Maine Criminal Justice Academy,” said Unity College Chief Academic Officer Dr. Robert Scott Jr. “Partnering in this way is a critically important function in the life of the college as we all work together to make Maine a great place to work and live. The fact that several Unity College students are directly benefitting from this arrangement is all the more gratifying.”
“The Unity College Conservation Law Enforcement Program is excited about partnering with the Maine Criminal Justice Academy to offer our students and the public a training opportunity that will provide them with the responsibility to protect, serve and educate their communities,” said Lori Perez, Professor of Conservation Law Enforcement in the Center for Natural Resource Management and Protection at Unity College.
On Friday, students will be in classroom training in the morning and in scenario-based training about how to do traffic stops outside the Tozier Gymnasium in the afternoon. Members of the media are invited.
All instructors, including Maine Wardens, county sheriff’s deputies, Waterville police, and Maine State Police troopers are volunteering. “We could never have this training without their commitment and dedication to the future generations of law enforcement officers,” Perez said.
The conservation law enforcement degree at Unity prepares students for graduate study and a wide range of careers related to resource management and environmental protection.
Unity graduates have achieved success as state fish and game wardens; forest rangers; marine patrols; federal enforcement officers for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management; environmental enforcement officers for the Environmental Protection Agency and state environmental agencies; and more. Graduates have also found success in traditional law enforcement as investigators and police officers at the local, state, and federal levels. They also appear as wardens on Animal Planet’s North Woods Law.