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Quinsigamond Community College Offers Full-Time Police Academy

Contact: Karen Hutner
Office of Institutional Communications
khutner [at] qcc.mass.edu
 

Release Date: 
1/20/2022

WORCESTER, MA—January 20, 2022 — Quinsigamond Community College’s Police Academy is addressing a workforce demand with its new police academy. This is the only Massachusetts community college running its own full-time police academy held on nights and weekends.

“Operating a full-time, pre-employment Recruit Officer Course in an extended format meets the needs of those who may not be able to attend a traditional full-time police academy during the day. The QCC Police Academy is authorized by the Municipal Police Training Committee (MPTC) to conduct entry-level police training for full-time police officers. Graduates of QCC’s Police Academy will have the ability to apply directly to police agencies, pending the hiring standards and requirements of that police department,” said QCC’s Police Academy Deputy Director, Captain Joseph P. Cecchi.  “QCC’s student officers participate in the same rigorous activities and training as any other MPTC-Authorized Police Academy.”

In 2018, QCC launched a Reserve Intermittent Recruit Officer Course Police Academy; however, these types of academies are now being discontinued in Massachusetts. Yet the need for police officers with full-time training has increased, and currently there is a hardship on recruitment and retention, according to a September 2019 membership survey, performed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). Statistics from the IACP membership survey found that 78% of law enforcement agencies reported having difficulty in recruiting qualified candidates, and 65% of agencies reported having too few candidates applying to be law enforcement officers.

“QCC’s Police Academy is addressing this need,” said Captain Cecchi.

The College’s first full-time police academy class, currently consists of 14 student officers. The program began in mid-September 2021, and student officers will graduate on May 27, 2022. 

“If a police department hires an applicant, the department must send them to a Recruit Officer Course at a MPTC Police Academy, unless they are already full-time graduates of an MPTC-authorized police academy, such as the QCC Police Academy,” Captain Cecchi said.

While police academies such as the one at QCC must be authorized through the MPTC, in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, prospective police officer applicants must be sponsored by a municipal or campus police chief, sheriff, or campus/hospital security director.

At QCC’s Police Academy, Police Chief Kevin Ritacco is sponsoring each police recruit after they successfully complete the application process, which includes a vetting procedure, passing a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) and Sex Offender Registry Information.

“Chief Ritacco wanted to give as many students as possible an opportunity to fulfill their dream of being a police officer,” said Captain Cecchi. 

QCC’s inaugural full-time student officers come from diverse backgrounds, yet they all have one commonality, wanting to become police officers and serve their community.

“I wanted to be a police officer because I have a passion for helping others. When choosing a career path, I wanted to find one that aligned with my morals. I have always felt compelled to help anyone I can and I feel becoming a police officer is a great way to help my community,” said QCC Student Officer Coryn Dias. “I chose to apply to the QCC Police Academy because it was an overall amazing opportunity for me. I had been trying to get my foot in the door to begin my career, but finding a sponsor was hard.”

QCC Student Officer Riley Brown was a recent college graduate, who was ready to take the next step toward becoming a police officer... a career he had been interested in since he was a child.

“I was also experiencing difficulty finding sponsorship. Every department I applied to has wanted candidates that are already academy trained. Therefore, I was very pleased to discover that this program already had a sponsor, and it was an opportunity to receive the training I would need,” Mr. Brown said. “I intend to be an officer who is a good role model for others, and I would like to take part in changing how the public views the police.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of police and detectives is projected to grow 7% from 2020 to 2030.

“QCC’s Police Academy is filling a crucial need in our communities, as departments are looking for applicants who are already trained and can become active police officers immediately,” said Chief Ritacco. “We want to thank the MPTC for voting to approve a Full-Time Police Academy at QCC.”

QCC will be hosting upcoming information sessions at QCC’s main campus, 670 West Boylston Street, Surprenant Hall (Room 120S) Worcester, with additional sessions added continuously.

•             Monday, February 28, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.

•             Wednesday, March 23, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.

For more information, visit www.QCC.edu/police-academy, or email the QCC Police Academy at policeacademy [at] qcc.mass.edu. For more information about QCC, contact Karen Hutner, Interim Director of Institutional Communications at 508.854.2842 or khutner [at] qcc.mass.edu

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Quinsigamond Community College is the most affordable higher education in Worcester County. As a regional leader in education and workforce development, QCC serves the diverse educational needs of Central Massachusetts by providing affordable, accessible, and high quality programming leading to transfer, career, and lifelong learning.