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Law enforcement academy at Lincoln University approved

December 16, 2020 GMT

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo (AP) — Lincoln University in Jefferson City has received a one-year probationary license for a law enforcement training academy, which supporters say is the first such academy in the country at an historically Black university.

Gov. Mike Parson and Missouri Department of Public Safety Director Sandy Karsten signed the license during a ceremony Tuesday at the university, The Jefferson City News-Tribune reported.

Parson said the academy could have far-reaching impacts at a time when law enforcement agencies are working to improve their diversity.

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The academy will focus on attracting low-income students from minority communities. Classes will be capped at 24 and, as of Tuesday, the academy had received 22 applications. Classes start next month.

“The founding of our university began with a dream that answered the need for educational opportunities for freed African Americans following the Civil War. Today, a new vision is providing this unique opportunity that will create a more diverse field of law enforcement officers to be able to reach and understand all those they protect and serve,” Lincoln President Jerald Jones Woolfolk said.

The academy will be mostly funded with tuition and fees from recruits. Any additional revenue generated would support initiatives in the university’s strategic plan.