During an advisory board meeting with the Intermediate School District in Cadillac, a representative for the Criminal Justice Program for the Career Tech Center of Wexford-Missaukee ISD, explained that their students were training with a very old police car that was failing.
"The school did not have the money to buy a new car and was reaching out to the board," said Michael Picerno, Baker College Department Chair and Criminal Justice Director. "I took the task to see if we could find one and Wayne City Police Chief Ryan Strong said he may have a used vehicle."
Chief Strong is a Baker College adjunct instructor for the Online College and was one of Picerno's first instructors.
Chief Strong did, in fact, have a police car that was ready to take on a new life as a student trainer and the car was donated Friday, August 9. The vehicle will be used for role-playing exercises such as traffic stops, prisoner handling, and maintenance of patrol car equipment.
There is a shortage of police officers in the state of Michigan, and police departments are currently working with communities to attract applicants. Chief Ryan hopes to attract future applicants to his department from the Baker College Running Start program where there are currently two students who will be attending the police academy in January 2020. These students will be getting their high school diploma, Associates Degree in Criminal Justice, and become State Certifiable upon the completion of the academy.
To learn about Baker College's Criminal Justice programs, head to our College of Social Science program page.