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3-time LEEP Dream Scholar graduates early, gets first job

— By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor Austin Lynema worked hard to finish his bachelor’s degree in three years and the Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP) helped him meet that goal. The three-time LEEP Dream Scholarship winner continues to see the rewards of his strong work ethic. He was just hired by the same police department he spent many years working for as a Police Explorer. “I did work a lot of 40-ho ...

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Police academy grad earns LEEP, Top Gun awards

— By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor Cade Barwig made a great impression on his instructors at Wayne County Regional Police Academy (WCRPA), receiving a $2,000 award for overall performance from Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP). Barwig, 23, of Southgate, was recognized during the Schoolcraft College academy graduation ceremony May 3. During the ceremony, he was also honored for scoring the highest in hi ...

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LERTA grad got timing right for police work

— By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor LEEP Award winner Eric Abbey always wanted to be a law enforcement officer, but it seemed like his timing was off in the late 1990s. Communities at that time weren’t hiring too many police officers. Abbey, 47, delayed his dream, finding other work as he pursued two Criminal Justice degrees while raising a family. He graduated Law Enforcement Regional Training Academy May 3 a ...

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LEEP Award recipient changes career path to pursue his dream

— By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor Justin Demo had just begun his accounting career when fate seemed to be pulling him in a different direction. He realized he enjoyed working as a Saginaw Valley State University Dispatcher more than accounting. So, he left his job and entered the Macomb Police Academy to pursue his dream. “I thought I’d just do something safer when I was at college,” Demo said of his career ...

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LEEP Award helps OCC grad follow in his dad’s footsteps

— By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor The latest Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP) Award recipient at Oakland Police Academy feels like he was better prepared for the academy than most because of his parents. His mother is a former Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor and his dad was an Oakland County Sheriff’s Deputy. “It gave me a huge advantage going into the academy — just having a familiarity with the ...

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Four-time LEEP scholar gets her first job with paid training

— By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor Lena Illig was the first Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP) Dream Scholar to receive a scholarship each of her four years of college. Now that’s she graduated, Illig reached out to LEEP to give thanks for helping her achieve her dream of becoming a Police Officer. “I wanted to inform you and the scholarship committee that I was finally hired as a Law Enforcement Office ...

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First Wayne County Regional Police Academy grad receives LEEP Award

— By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor The Wayne County Regional Police Academy selected their first LEEP Award recipient, providing the pre-service cadet with $2,000 to help pay for her academy training. The Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP) Award was presented to Jennifer Ratliff during the Nov. 9, 2017 graduation ceremony at Schoolcraft College in Livonia. “This is the first one we gave out to Schoolcra ...

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Police academy grad’s dedication pays off with LEEP Award

— By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor John D’Amico took the necessary steps to prepare for and put himself through the Law Enforcement Regional Training Academy (LERTA) and his initiative showed in his academic and training performance. “I already had my associate’s in Criminal Justice from Oakland Community College,” D’Amico said of the degree he completed in 2015. “I’ve been working security full time. I’ve be ...

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Oakland Police Academy grad earns LEEP Award, hired as Deputy

— By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor Thomas McClure has no previous law enforcement experience, but his proven abilities at Oakland Police Academy earned him a $2,000 Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP) Award and a full-time Deputy job immediately after graduation. “He worked very hard in the academy and was well-liked by his peers,” said Oakland Police Academy Director David Ceci. McClure was one of 36 pr ...

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Macomb Academy grad earns LEEP Award, hired by MSP

— By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor Derek Staelgraeve dreamed of becoming a Michigan State Police (MSP) Trooper, but after he applied, he didn’t wait around to be hired. He paid his way through Macomb Police Academy. So he was grateful when he received a Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP) Award of $2,000 to help with those costs. “It meant a lot because, going through the academy, I didn’t exactly have m ...

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