The IU Police Department will begin its summer police academy next week, and current IU cadets take the next step in their careers in law enforcement.
The academy first took place in 1972 and always happens on the Bloomington campus. This year’s class will have a total of 47 cadets, and 33 are from the Bloomington campus. Cadets from all eight IU campuses can participate in the academy training, which is part of what makes the program so well-rounded, said Capt. Greg Butler, commander of the academy who will be retiring this year after 22 years in his position.
“That’s one thing about our program — it kind of reflects the University community,” Butler said.
This year’s class will have a total of 14 female cadets out of 47, which is the most it has ever had. While usually a few cadets drop out from the program over the course of the summer, they expect at least 40 will graduate, Butler said.
Training lasts 14 weeks for a total of 600 hours from May to August. For two of these weeks, cadets go off-site to Plainfield, Indiana, for additional training. Throughout the course of the program, cadets balance physical training with legal training, including education on calls regarding hazardous materials, sexual assault, domestic violence, individuals with disabilities, race relations and diversity training.
Butler said the most stressful time during the academy is probably when cadets are expected to shoot a firearm.
“Our standards are pretty strict," Butler said.
Butler will retire on the first day of the academy after a 22-year run as commander. As a graduate from the very first academy class in 1972, Butler has seen the progression of the program over time and seen their reputation grow.
“The program has a lot of respect throughout the state,” Butler said. “We’re actually the third-largest academy in the state.”
After completing their training at IU, Butler said cadets have gone on to become police officers, judges and lawyers and work at the FBI, CIA, Drug Enforcement Administration and Secret Service. Seeing this progression and development is truly rewarding, Butler said.
“The best thing for me is to see these kids develop,” Butler said. “To me, that’s the satisfaction that I see from this program.”
Stephen Luce, IUPD sergeant-training coordinator, was also a graduate from the academy. Luce said the friendships he made throughout his training were some of his favorite memories.
“It’s an intense 16 weeks,” Luce said. “But the best part was the camaraderie with your peers. You’re very close-knit.”
This year will mark the 43rd graduating academy class from IUPD and Butler said he is optimistic for the future of the program.
“It will hopefully continue to march for another 45 years, long after I’m gone,” Butler said.
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