Morris University will become the home of the part-time Municipal Police
Academy for the Pittsburgh region in summer 2017, training students to receive
state Act 120 certification to become police officers in cities, boroughs,
townships, and municipalities in Pennsylvania.
The part-time Police Academy at Robert Morris University will begin in August
and offer courses during weekday evenings and on Saturdays. It will complement
RMU’s bachelor’s degree program in criminal justice; cadets who complete their
Act 120 certification at the RMU Police Academy will earn 18 credits toward a
degree in criminal justice.
The Police Academy will provide RMU criminal justice students the same type of
professional experience that the university has long been known to provide for
other degree programs and which has become a hallmark of an RMU education,
according to Frank Hartle, a former police officer who heads RMU’s criminal
justice program. Students can earn a criminal justice degree at RMU online or
in the traditional classroom format.
“Graduating with both a degree and Act 120 certification will help our students
get hired faster, and the Police Academy will enhance our partnerships with the
law enforcement community,” said Hartle, an assistant professor and former
Pittsburgh Police officer who also works for the Department of Homeland
The RMU Police Academy will be administered through the Criminal Justice
Training Center at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, which is certified by
the Municipal Police Officers’ Education and Training Commission to provide Act
120 training. Officials at IUP approached RMU about hosting the Police Academy,
which was previously housed at Carnegie Mellon University.
John Lewis, faculty member in the IUP Department of Criminology and Criminal
Justice, and Dennis Marsili, director of the IUP Criminal Justice Training
Center, were instrumental in bringing the Police Academy to RMU. Lewis is the
former director of the Criminal Justice Training Center.
“The Police Academy will be another competitive advantage for RMU’s criminal
justice degree, which already enjoys cross-disciplinary relationships with the
university’s cyber security program and other professionally focused degrees.
Our graduates are well-poised for success,” said Mary Ann Rafoth, dean of the
RMU School of Education and Social Sciences, which is home to criminal justice.