App State police will offer training program to students


Moss Brennan, Reporter

Beginning this spring, Appalachian State University will hire students to work with the Appalachian State University Police Department as civilians and as part-time police officers.

“We are starting what we’re calling a Police Development Program,” Andy Stephenson, director of public safety and chief of police at App, said. “What we’re going to do is hire Appalachian State students. We’re going to hire them as part-time employees in the Appalachian State University Police Department.”

Applications were put on App State’s Career Gear on Wednesday and will be open until May 1.

The program will be the second of its nature in the country with the only other program being at Indiana University, according to Stephenson.

Beginning in the spring, the Appalachian State University Police Department will hire 20 students who will serve in a “police cadet, civilian security officer type role,” Stephenson said. They will report to duty in August and undergo two weeks of training before classes.

This position is open to all full-time App State students.

Students will spend that year as police development officers. After the academic year, those cadets will attend the Appalachian State University Police Academy which will start up this summer. That will lead to students becoming part-time officers with App the following year.

Those who turn 21 by the end of 2018 can apply to be part-time officers with the Appalachian State University Police Department for the next academic school year right away.

Once they graduate the police academy, they will be certified law enforcement officers in the state of North Carolina.

Among the requirements for the Police Development Program and the part-time officer position, applicants must “pass a battery of physical and psychological tests, pass an intensive background investigation, pass a drug test and must be in good standing with the Office of Student Conduct.”

The Police Development Program will pay $10 an hour and the part-time police officer position pays $11 an hour. Both jobs require 12-20 hours a week.

Stephenson said he got his idea from his time spent at Indiana University and the fact that he graduated from the same type of program.

“Another thing that really got us headed down the road was that there was a legislative update that came out in North Carolina that passed the Board of Governors with doing a feasibility study about bringing a basic law enforcement training class to a four year institution,” Stephenson said.

Stephenson said that he thinks this program will give students that are interested in law enforcement careers a big advantage once they go out to the job market.

Story by: Moss Brennan