Metro East police department thinking outside the box to help in - KMOV.com

Metro East police department thinking outside the box to help increase applicant pool

Posted: Updated:
Two people enrolled in the Fairveiw Heights MECOP Program (Credit: KMOV) Two people enrolled in the Fairveiw Heights MECOP Program (Credit: KMOV)

FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. (KMOV.com) – A Metro East police department is thinking outside of the box to help increase its applicant pool.

The Fairview Heights Police Department’s MECOP, which stands for Metro East Cadets of Policing, Program gives students ages 14 to 21 a first-hand look at what it takes to be an officer.

During the program, the students undergo boot camp and training for 10 weeks. The department hopes this will want them to become police officers one day.

“We know that all of them will not become police officers, all of them will not go into the military,” Illinois State Police Trooper Calvin Dye Jr. said. “We hope they take what they learn here. The structure that we taught them, the intensity, the never give up attitude, we hope that stays with them throughout the course of their lives.”

Police departments across the country are currently facing a shortage due to a variety of reasons, including low pay. Last year, 64 law enforcement officers were shot and killed, the most in in five years.

Frank Vollmer, a graduate of the MECOP Program and a senior at Belleville East High School, said the program solidified his dream of one day being an FBI agent.

“My favorite part of the program was getting to know these people that a lot of people perceive to be Godly like on a first name basis to where you don’t have to call them officer blank or trooper blank. You can call them by their first name and you can become friends with them. It’s really cool,” said Vollmer.

When the 10 week program ends, phase two kicks in. Vollmer is still working with police officers and will continue to do so until he’s 21.

Copyright 2017 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

Powered by Frankly