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To the Editor:

Police Training Institutes have been established in Belleville and University of Illinois, and others, for some time. I attended the U of I Institute in 1982. They establish physical standards, knowledge of the criminal laws of Illinois and federal laws, traffic code/laws, use of force in all arrests and civil disobedience that all citizens should comply with, uniform attire, etc.

Each state, county, and municipality has a merit board which applying officers must go through to obtain the opportunity to become a law enforcement officer. There is no prejudice of any nationality that will eliminate applicants. After applicants are reviewed and approved for employment by their city, county or the state, these future officers must receive certified training form a Police Training Institute or Academy.

A Police Training Institute at SIU is a win/win solution for not only SIU, but all surrounding areas near the university. Police officers are essential for safety of the public in need, and they are not going away in any state, county, or municipality. They must be trained properly. If a police training institute was established at SIU, then all citizens in our local area would reap the benefits of supporting SIU financially, as well as lowering training cost for law enforcement that burdens our local communities that must provide this training. By having this institute at SIU, it can only be a good policy and cost effective practice for southern Illinois counties and communities.

My simple suggestion would be that minorities apply for police officer positions. Become a law enforcement officer and enjoy the opportunity to serve and protect! The cause is worthy and we need to now act on it.

Michael Duncan

Murphysboro

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