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 criminal justice system,” said Marshal Scott, who graduated Oakland Police Academy June 15. “I like to say I think I have the most experience anyone could have without ever doing the job. I (heard) some of the stories when my parents got home (from work). It’s not your typical dinner conversation growing up.”
Those stories about what happened to his dad while out on patrol and his mom while in the courtroom led him to develop a love of law enforcement. He just needed to hone his career path.
Scott, 23, was one of 13 non-sponsored cadets out of a graduating class of 45. “Academic-wise he did very well on all levels, but his performance in the practical skills areas as far as defensive tactics, weapons, driving skills, he excelled at those as well,” said David Ceci, Oakland Police Academy Director of Law Enforcement Training. “His overall attitude was really good. He comes from that background, but he never came off arrogant or cocky. He was a very humble young man who wants to make a name for himself on his own merit.”
He was hired by Bloomfield Township Police Department as a full-time Officer before completing the academy. “I’m so excited about it,” Scott said before his first day of work July 9. “I actually live in Commerce Township so it’s real close.”
“I’m happy … that he did so well to get this award,” Ceci said. “He’s just an all-around good guy. I think he will be a great Police Officer.”
His dad, David Scott, was an Oakland County Sheriff’s Deputy for 28 years before retiring in 2007. In 2016, he was elected Commerce Township Supervisor. “He always really wanted to be involved in his community. He’s very ambitious,” Marshal Scott said. “He worked as a Deputy in Commerce for part of his career.”
His mom, Margaret Scott, was an Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor for 20 years. Now, she’s a Municipal Prosecutor for Waterford Township and the City of Auburn Hills. “She handles all their local ordinances,” he said. “Misdemeanor drunk driving is the highest crime she handles.”
Scott graduated Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio with a Criminal Justice bachelor’s degree in 3-1/2 years. While in college, he decided to test the waters by doing an internship at his mother’s law firm, Secrest Wardle in Troy. “I worked there as a paid intern for the summer – May to August (2016),” he said. “It was a really good experience, but it really showed me that being an attorney wasn’t what I wanted to do. It was just as good as having found out that’s what I wanted to do.”
He graduated from college in December 2016 and by May 2017 he was hired as a paid Milford Police Cadet. “I was looking for just something part-time. I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to do,” Scott said. “I had worked for a law firm in the past just to get exposure to different sides of law enforcement. I hadn’t been able to work with the police at all and it was a good way to get exposure.”
As a Cadet, Scott worked inside the station, handling non-emergency dispatch calls and the front desk. “You’re the first face that people see when they come into the police station,” he said. “You’re not doing 911 dispatch. You’re handling the paperwork for the officers. You can do fingerprinting, you can handle the booking … you’re just the in-house person to handle anything they need. You get a lot of insight into what they do.”
The job solidified for Scott that he wanted to become a Police Officer. “I was young when my dad retired and it’s not necessarily a job where you could bring your child to work,” he said.
Milford didn’t offer paid police academy training at the time, so Scott started Oakland Police Academy in February 2018, paying the tuition himself. Since academy training is intense, he left his position with Milford. “I wanted to put 100 percent of my focus into going into the academy,” he said.
The $2,000 LEEP Award made a big difference since he wasn’t earning an income and had tuition bills to pay. “It helps me out a lot,” Scott said. “Putting myself through the police academy was a long-term investment and this scholarship is the perfect start to earning that back.”