LEEP Award ‘tremendous help’ to Mott police academy graduate
— By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor
Garrett Guest left his job to successfully complete the Law Enforcement Regional Training Academy at Mott Community College. So when he was given the Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP) $2,000 Award, he couldn’t have been more thankful.
“I quit my job before I started the academy,” Guest said of his position at Sherman Williams in Grand Blanc. “I wanted to focus completely on the academy. Looking back on it, I definitely couldn’t have worked. (The academy) was 12 hours a day and you’re just so beat by the end of the week you need the weekend to recover. The only times I would’ve been able to work was on the weekends.”
“The fact that I got this award is a tremendous help. I don’t know when I might find a job,” Guest said. “It’s nice to be recognized and helped out.”
Most Police Academy cadets do not work due to the long days at the academy. For those sponsored by a police agency intent on hiring them, this is not a major hardship. But for Guest and other non-sponsored cadets, making ends meet while attending can be a challenge. The LEEP Award is given twice yearly to graduates with the highest overall achievement, who have not been sponsored by any police agency. To qualify, the cadets had to pass the MCOLES certification test and meet MCOLES employment standards to become certifiable as law enforcement officers in Michigan.
Guest, 22, was presented the Award by POLC Executive Committee member Capt. Collin Birnie, of Flint PD, during the May 4 graduation ceremony. Guest obtained his associates degree in Criminal Justice from Mott and bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice at Ferris State University. In addition to his degrees and academy training, Guest gained experience in police work through ride-alongs and as a volunteer Reserve Officer.
“When I was in college, I became a Reserve Police Officer with Frankenmuth and have been doing that for 2-1/2 years,” Guest said. “I went through a reserve academy and I would assist certified officers.”
His father, Kyle Guest, is a retired Genesee County Sheriff’s Department Sergeant, who is working as a Richfield Township Police Officer. He had been working part-time for Richfield Township Police while employed full-time with Genesee. Guest said his dad retired after 20 years of service with Genesee, but wasn’t ready to leave his law enforcement career. So when a full-time position opened at Richfield, he applied. “He’s got a couple more years left and then he’s going to hang it in for good,” Guest said.
Guest is looking for police work in Genesee County, hoping to follow in the footsteps of his father.