Missouri Grants Law Enforcement Basic Training Academy License to Lincoln University

 — The state of Missouri has granted a law enforcement basic training center license to Lincoln University, which will allow the establishment of the nation’s first law enforcement training academy at a Historically Black College and University (HBCU).

Following a recommendation for approval by the Missouri Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission on November 30, Governor Mike Parson and Missouri Department of Public Safety Director Sandy Karsten signed the one-year probationary license today during a ceremony at Lincoln.

“At a time when law enforcement agencies are working to attract more diverse officers and create agencies that look more like their communities, Lincoln University presented an ambitious plan for a law enforcement training center that could have far-reaching impacts on recruiting more minorities to policing,” Governor Mike Parson said. “We appreciate all the work the Lincoln University team has put into this unique effort.”

“Lincoln University stands proud as the first HBCU to offer a police academy on its campus,” said Lincoln University President Jerald Jones Woolfolk. “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.”

“I’ve been impressed by the Lincoln University team’s effort and professionalism as the POST commissioners and I have met with them during the effort to establish the law enforcement basic training center,” Department of Public Safety Director Sandy Karsten said. “Attracting minority recruits to law enforcement is one of the key issues faced by agencies across the nation. The Lincoln University plan has already been garnering attention, and we look forward to issuing peace officer licenses to Lincoln University law enforcement academy graduates in the months ahead.”

The POST Commission granted preliminary approval for Lincoln University’s proposed basic training academy on October 5. Director Karsten and POST program staff conducted site visits on October 16 and November 18, during which reviews were conducted of planned policies and procedures, proposed courses, lesson plans, instructor qualifications, and the academy’s advisory board. 

Lincoln University currently offers a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice. The law enforcement training academy will be part of Lincoln's criminal justice program and allow students to pursue Missouri peace officer licenses while earning their academic degrees. It will also accept training academy recruits who are not pursuing academic degrees. Lincoln University says it will strive to recruit a minimum of eight students per academy class and 16 students per academic year after the academy’s first year.

Lincoln University’s research shows that of more than 100 HBCUs in the United States, none offer a law enforcement academy program.

The Lincoln University basic training center is the 20th law enforcement academy to be licensed in Missouri. A complete list of the other state licensed basic training centers is available here. Lincoln University plans to enroll its first recruit class in January 2021. Pictures from today's signing ceremony will be available on Flickr