Saturday, September 16, 2000888-491-4487


First Class Graduates Under Justice Department Program

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Sept. 16  -- With the graduation today of 19 police cadets, Florida joined the ranks of states participating in the Justice Department's Police Corps program. Florida and 25 other states were selected by the Justice Department's Office of Justice Programs (OJP) to recruit and train college graduates to serve four years as community police officers.

"The highly motivated, qualified graduates from the Police Corps program will make a tremendous difference in the lives of the citizens they serve in Florida," said Mary Lou Leary, Acting Assistant Attorney General for OJP.  "By successfully completing this rigorous training program, these new police officers are equipped with the necessary skills, knowledge and leadership to become effective officers in this new era of community policing."

The Police Corps program is a competitive college scholarship program for students who agree to work in a state or local police force for at least four years.  The funds cover education expenses, including tuition, fees, books, supplies, transportation, room and board, and miscellaneous expenses.

Today's graduates of the Florida Police Corps program will join four of the state's local law enforcement agencies.  Those agencies are the Jacksonville Sheriff's Department, Tampa Police Department, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department, and the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

The graduation ceremony, which is taking place on the campus of the University of North Florida, caps a rigorous six-month Police Corps training program.  This basic police training, funded by the Justice Department, teaches the knowledge, skills and attitudes essential to serve on community patrol.  At the conclusion of the training, all participants must satisfy high performance standards for physical, mental and emotional fitness.  The police departments in which individual participants will serve provide additional training as appropriate.

Students interested in the Police Corps apply to the "lead agency" of the participating state in which they wish to serve.  Applications are then evaluated based upon defined selection criteria.  States with Police Corps programs are expected to advertise the availability of scholarships to the full range of prospective participants and to make special efforts to encourage applications from among members of all racial, ethnic and gender groups.

For additional information about the Florida Police Corps program, contact Sergeant Alicia Edmonds at 904-713-4896.  Information is also available through OJP's web site at:


CONTACT: Sheila Jerusalem of Office of Justice Programs, 888-491-4487