YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown State University is almost halfway through its police academy for this semester.
Students get college credit, while training to become a police officer, which instructors and cadets said is beneficial in the job market.
“After I graduate the police academy, I am done with school. I graduate with my bachelor’s,” said Jennifer Kilnapp.
Kilnapp is a criminal justice major at Youngstown State University and is currently in the university’s police academy program. She hopes to have an edge on other applicants.
“I think there is a huge advantage. There is a lot of police departments that can’t get qualified females,” she said.
Kilnapp is one of 22 cadets also enrolled as a YSU student. The police academy accounts for 16 credits.
Cadets attend weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., plus some nights and weekends. In return, they achieve the required 605 academy hours.
“Some departments actually require college degrees in order to be on that department. So any education in addition to this is a plus,” said Jim Fynes, a YSU police academy teacher.
All 27 cadets start their week with physical training. It is an important part of the police academy.
“These guys know everything about the fitness part and being out in the field too.” Instructor Jjim Villeco said.
Instructors Villecco and Fynes have a combined 53 years of experience in law enforcement.
” A large part pf the job is physical. This is very important to get them prepared to handle any kind of confrontation they may be in,” Villcco said.
“Their rigorous preparation, including a focus on running as well as core and upper body strength, is designed to help them pass the state certified test and become one step closer to being a police officer.
“We put them through the ringer, so they know it is not going to be a walk in the park,” Fynes said.