August 10, 2009

RSU Expedited COP Program Trains Police Officers – Often in One Year

The Expedited C.O.P. Program at Rogers State University will allow eligible individuals to become certified police officers in approximately one year.

The Collegiate Officer Program (C.O.P.) at RSU is a combination of college classes and police skills training that leads to eligibility for police officer certification. Graduates will earn an associate in arts (A.A.) degree in criminal justice studies, with a C.O.P. option.

"This is a perfect opportunity for those who may have lost their jobs to retrain and embark on a new career in law enforcement, or for those who have always dreamed of becoming a police officer" said Dr. Diana Clayton, RSU associate professor and C.O.P. director.

The C.O.P. program has been certified as a substitute for the CLEET Basic Police Officer Academy (police academy.)

CLEET is the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training, the agency designated by Oklahoma law to administer all aspects of police officer training and certification.

RSU's C.O.P. program consists of 41 credit hours of general education classes and 24 credit hours of criminal justice classes, including CLEET skills classes. Criminal justice classes include criminal law, community relations and criminal procedures. CLEET training classes include first aid/CPR, criminal investigation, patrol techniques, traffic administration, firearms, driver training and custody and control.

Former college students who have earned another degree, or who have completed their general education requirements, may be able to complete the degree in approximately one year. New students who have not completed their general education requirements may complete the program in up to two years, Clayton said.

Students who begin the program this fall will take prescribed criminal justice classes through the spring at RSU, and will complete CLEET training classes during the summer in Ada, Okla.

Many law enforcement agencies hire RSU C.O.P. students six months before they graduate, Clayton said.

"Graduates of the program are qualified to work as police officers in several settings, including Native American casinos," she said. "Many law enforcement agencies, and other organizations that hire police officers, find RSU graduates attractive because they don't have to pay to send them to the CLEET Academy."

Graduates are prepared to work in a variety of law enforcement settings including municipal police departments, sheriff's departments, GRDA lake patrol, correctional facilities, private investigation firms and business and corporate loss prevention.

Students must take C.O.P. classes in a designated sequence, maintain a minimum cumulative G.P.A. of 2.0, score a B or higher in first aid/CPR, make a C or higher in all other classes and meet the statutory eligibility requirements for becoming a certified police officer in Oklahoma.

Upon graduation, students will take the CLEET police officer certification exam.

For more information on the C.O.P. program at RSU, contact Clayton at (918) 343-7632 or