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LEEP Award recipient hired by Livonia PD right after police academy graduation

Posted by: jgomori Posted date: September 11, 2020

By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor

Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP) Award recipient Hunter Miller graduated in the top of his class, so it’s no surprise a job was waiting for him.

Miller, a June graduate of Law Enforcement Regional Training Academy (LERTA) at Mott Community College, was presented a conditional offer in March and hired as a full-time Livonia Police Officer after graduating.

Photo courtesy of LERTA
LEEP Award recipient Hunter Miller is a newly hired Livonia Police Officer.

“He was the highest scoring scholastic achievement non-sponsored recruit,” said Kitty Severance, Law Enforcement Regional Training Academy (LERTA) Staff Assistant.

The 26-year-old finished the academy with a 92.31 percent and received his associate degree in Criminal Justice from Mott Community College and bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Ferris State University.

The non-sponsored cadet paid his own way through the academy. The $800 LEEP Award will help him with the transition to his first law enforcement job. “I’m using the LEEP Award towards a security deposit for an apartment closer to my new job,” Miller said. “It’s tremendous financial assistance.”

He also received a $500 Donald E. Ewles Criminal Justice Scholarship, established by Ewles, a retired Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputy, and his widow Sharon Ewles, a former LERTA Human Resources employee.

Academy training was delayed due to the pandemic, when schools, colleges and universities went to online education. “We were able to do a few Zoom meetings so that accomplished some of the classroom learning while being at home,” Miller said.

Social distancing in class and training was used when they returned in mid-May. “It definitely was a credit to Lt. (David) Livingston (LERTA Director) … really planning how to keep everyone safe while still giving everyone a good education and solid training,” Miller said. “This is all very unprecedented for everyone involved.”

Academy graduation was limited to staff and students, practicing social distancing. LERTA will be giving a recording of the event to each cadet. “It was still intimate with my classmates. We were still able to celebrate our achievement together,” he said. “Of course, we would have liked to have friends and family, however given the circumstances, they made the best of the situation.”

Miller is the first member of his family to become a police officer. “I was always interested in law enforcement, but I didn’t really pursue it right away,” he said.

Unsure of his career direction after previously attending University of Michigan Flint, he took a couple years off. He worked some odd jobs and found the repetitive work boring.

“I played hockey with some police officers and they would have these crazy stories about the average day on the job,” Miller said of an adult recreation hockey team he joined. “I thought it would be a really rewarding career to be able to help people on the worst days of their lives.”

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