MANSFIELD, Pa. — Commonwealth University’s Mansfield campus and The Mansfield University Public Safety Training Institute (MUPSTI) have entered into a training agreement with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC).
The Mansfield University Municipal Police Academy is conducting Law Enforcement training for 19 PFBC Waterways Conservation Officer (WCO) trainees. The trainees will receive approximately six months of Law Enforcement training as required by the Pennsylvania Municipal Police Training Act, Act 120. The training is being conducted at the Mansfield campus and will allow the future WCOs to function as Law Enforcement Officers in Pennsylvania. The WCO trainees are staying in on-campus housing during the duration of their training at Mansfield.
WCO trainees will receive instruction at Mansfield in various topics including, but not limited to Pennsylvania criminal law and procedures, human relations and special needs, patrol procedures, criminal investigation, Pennsylvania vehicle code enforcement, drug law enforcement, emergency vehicle operation, physical conditioning, firearms training, armed and unarmed self-defense and control tactics, and emergency response training.
The WCO trainees began their training at Mansfield on Aug. 29 and will complete their law enforcement training in late February 2023. Upon successful completion of the Act 120 training at Mansfield, the WCO trainees will then receive approximately six more months of additional specialized training through the PFBC in order to successfully graduate as PFBC WCOs.
“The MU Academy is unique in that we can provide the certification training while working with residence life and food services to provide an all-inclusive residential academy,” said Joshua Battin, senior associate dean of the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities at Mansfield.
Battin said, in the past, police departments have sent one or two officers to the academy to integrate with their classes, but the PFBC is the largest single agency group they have trained, requiring them to conduct an additional academy class this year and now have two different classes in the training process.
“The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission recognizes Act 120 training as an important first step in developing professional, knowledgeable officers with the skills necessary to protect our aquatic resources and the people who enjoy them,” said Lt. Col. Thomas Burrell with the PFBC Bureau of Law Enforcement. “Mansfield’s program is uniquely situated to provide quality training in a progressive, positive manner, and we look forward to the long-term benefits this partnership will yield.”
The MUPSTI has the second lowest tuition rate of all Act 120 Police Academies in Pennsylvania. It also offers several scholarships and incentives for those individuals who wish to become police officers in the state.
“Through a generous grant from the Emergency Response Training and Certification Association (ERTCA) we have $2,500 scholarships for all cadets who successfully complete the training and certification process,” Battin said. “In addition, we can provide free on-campus housing for those that are from out of the area or otherwise need it. We have also partnered with the Quest for the Best Foundation, which provides a 50 percent scholarship to two cadets for each academy.”
“This partnership serves as an excellent example of what is possible through strong workforce development initiatives. Commonwealth University is focused on providing these types of opportunities for training and credentialing to individuals throughout the region and state,” said Bashar W. Hanna, president of Commonwealth University.
“Working with employers to develop high-quality, innovative, and inclusive training, leading to industry-recognized credentials, is at the core of workforce development training,” said Hope Lineman, executive director of workforce development for Commonwealth University. “We are delivering on our mission in new and creative ways to ensure that Pennsylvania residents, including traditional, non-traditional, and working adults, have access to cutting-edge training and programs through partnerships with community colleges, employers (apprenticeships), and recognition of prior learning through a stackable framework taking training to degree. The State System redesign brings a renewed focus to continue driving economic development and social mobility.”
For more information about the Mansfield University Municipal Police Academy, visit www.mansfield.edu/police-academy/.
For more information about the PFBC WCO training, visit www.fishandboat.com.