The Best in Blue: Police Academy Prepares Future Law Enforcement Officers – Part 2
Passion for Service Speaks Volumes about the Broward College Connection
To save lives and protect the community, cadets at the Broward College Police Academy are trained to think more like guardians and less like warriors.
“There’s a misconception that all we ever do at the Police Academy is shoot guns,” said Wayne Boulier, associate dean at the Institute of Public Safety which oversees the basic training program at Broward College for future law enforcement officers. “When you look at our curriculum, it’s only one small part of the total package.”
That’s important for everyone to understand, said Boulier, who emphasized that the cadets are willing participants at many student activities on the Broward College campus, which sparks conversations and helps to bridge gaps between the community and police.
“Some students have preconceived notions of who the police are,” said Boulier, a former officer with the Davie Police Department. “But, when these students sit down and talk to the cadets in a campus setting, they realize these future law enforcement officers not only have a tremendous passion to serve the community but are going through college just like them.”
The interaction, combined with the fact that most of law enforcement officers who work in Broward County are products of the police academy speaks volumes to that connection. The loudest noise, came earlier this year when the Police Academy boasted a 96 percent passing rate among the 200 cadets who took the 2018 State Officer Certification Exam. The exemplary pass rate, ranked the College first among the 41 certified programs by the Florida Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission to provide basic and advanced training.
“We are part of the Broward College family,” said Boulier. “It speaks to the tradition of excellence we have in our programs college-wide. The staff, the instructors, the advisors want to be here and want to be part of the Broward College fabric.”
Robert Voss had already bought into that mission long ago. As an 18-year-old, he was a member of the 124th Broward Police Academy graduation class and, two years later in 1989, the recipient of an associate degree in criminal justice from then Broward Community College. Following a 30-year tenure with the Sunrise Police Department, his career has come full circle as a full-time IPS faculty member who instructs cadets on vehicle operations and first-aid.
“It all started for me here at Broward College when I earned nine college credits at the police academy,” said Voss, who later added bachelor’s and master’s degrees to his academic resume. “The police academy is higher education. We teach students how to be a better person and to maybe someday save a life.”
Find out more about courses basic and advanced training in Criminal Justice programs at Broward College.