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Edward Waters May Expand Criminal Justice Curriculum With Police Academy

Edward Waters College

Jacksonville’s historically-black college, Edward Waters may soon have a police academy.

The Florida Legislature has approved nearly $2 million dollars to start the program.

If the academy is funded, Edward Waters College plans to allow students to take criminal justice and forensic science classes, while simultaneously attending police academy.

Edward Waters Assistant Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Wanda Willis says she can see many students taking advantage of the program.

“It would make our students more marketable upon graduation with a criminal justice degree and a law enforcement certification,” Willis said. “We’d of course like to see our streets a lot safer and I know that we would be able to attract more students who would want to go into law enforcement”

State Senator Chris Smith, a Fort Lauderdale Democratic sponsored the legislation. He says his goal is to diversify police departments in Florida.

The funding for the police academy is part of Florida’s nearly $80 million dollar budget expected to head to Gov. Rick Scott. Scott has line-item veto power.