Municipal Police Academy to Open at Robert Morris University

Posted on 5/10/2017 2:46:24 PM

Robert 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 Security.

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.