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Loyola and JPSO collaborate to offer degree program for officers

Loyola press release - May 14, 2008

The department of criminal justice at Loyola University New Orleans and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office (JPSO) have partnered to offer a bachelor’s degree program in criminal justice to officers at a discounted rate beginning in June.

The program is designed to create incentives for officers to continue their education in the field of criminal justice and to help them develop new law enforcement skills. The ultimate goal of the partnership is to produce a larger pool of career law enforcement agents for the parish.

The first class, Criminology Fundamentals, will be taught at the JPSO’s training academy in Harvey, La. beginning June 5. Other classes in the program will be taught at the training academy and on Loyola’s main campus. Courses will be offered to officers at a 60 percent discount from Loyola’s regular tuition rate. To create further incentive for participation, the JPSO will reimburse officers 25 percent of the remaining tuition balance. Currently, there are more than 20 officers enrolled in the first class.

Capt. Tim Scanlan of the JPSO, who is also an adjunct professor of criminal justice at Loyola, and William Thornton, Jr., chairman of the department of criminal justice, worked together to create the collaboration.

According to Thornton, the idea of a partnership with one or more of the law enforcement agencies in the area had been discussed by the criminal justice department for many years, however, no firm procedures had ever been established.

"The joint program between Loyola and the JPSO is very much in line with the university’s commitment to collaborate with community agencies. The department of criminal justice’s faculty looks forward to working with the sheriff’s office in providing enhanced opportunities for law enforcement officers to obtain bachelor’s degrees," Thornton said.

In addition to benefits JPSO officers will receive from the program, traditional undergraduate students will benefit from the real-life experiences of law professionals during class discussion.

Scanlan noted, "This also creates a win-win situation for both officers and the JPSO because it deepens their commitment to the sheriff’s office. It allows them more opportunities for advancement by furthering their education as law enforcers."

For more information, or to schedule an interview with Scanlan or Thornton, contact Sean Snyder in Loyola’s Office of Public Affairs at smsnyder@loyno.edu or (504) 861-5882.