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LEEP police academy awards

Posted by: Jennifer Gomori Posted date: January 27, 2015

LEEP helps academy cadets pay for training

— By Jennifer Foley, POJ Editor

POLC Executive Committee member Tom Wilk, who is Macomb College Police Captain, presents Macomb Police Academy graduate Edward Jacques with a LEEP Award.

With long, physically rigorous hours and day and night training, most police academy cadets find it’s just too difficult to work while completing academy training. The Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP) has been making it easier on non-sponsored officers by providing scholarship funds.

The LEEP Award is given to graduating cadets at Michigan police academies in the metro area with the highest overall achievement who have not been sponsored by any police agency. Two awards were recently given to academy graduates.

POLC Executive Committee Chair Paul Combs presents Oakland Police Academy graduate Dennis Tallon II with a LEEP Award.

POLC Executive Committee Chair Paul Combs presents Oakland Police Academy graduate Dennis Tallon II with a LEEP Award.

Macomb Police Academy graduate Edward Jacques, 27, is the most recent LEEP Award recipient. POLC Executive Committee member Tom Wilk, Macomb College Police Department Captain, presented Jacques the $1,000 scholarship at his Dec. 10, 2014 graduation. The award was recently doubled to provide more funding for worthy candidates.

Jacques is a Marine Corps veteran, who entered the Corps in 2004 right after high school. He was deployed to Iraq and served in active combat four years. Upon his return, he completed an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice at Baker College. The Memphis, Michigan resident received the award for all around excellent performance, said Macomb Police Academy Director Charles Craft. “He finished 5th in the class (of 34) academically with a final average score of 91. He just did an outstanding job in all of our skills assessments.”

To qualify for the LEEP Award, the cadets have to pass the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) certification test and meet MCOLES employment standards to become certifiable as a law enforcement officer in Michigan.

Jacques became a squad leader in the academy. “He was just a key member of the class. He interacted well with his fellow cadets and the instructors thought a lot of him,” Craft said. “Obviously his military service and the amount of personal discipline he brought to the program and his maturity stood out. He’s very dedicated. He worked hard every day. He had a great attitude. I think he displayed to me all the attributes I thought are necessary to be an outstanding police officer.”

Jacques is interviewing for positions and going through background investigation. “As bright as he is and physically fit and as determined as he is,” Craft said he should have no problem finding an assignment. “I will give him a great recommendation.”

Newly hired Southfield Police Officer Dennis Tallon II also received a LEEP Award. POLC Executive Board President Paul Combs awarded the 25-year-old Oakland Police Academy graduate a $500 LEEP scholarship at his June 20, 2014 graduation.

Tallon earned the highest overall achievement in his graduating class. “Testing figured into it. His peer evaluations fitted into it,” said Oakland Police Academy Director Dick Tillman. “Classmates evaluate each other in communication, appearance and leadership. He did very well in his peer evaluations.”

Tallon completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice at Madonna University in 2013 and earned a certificate of completion in Homeland Security and Private Security from Madonna. “I’ve been in martial arts since I was 4 years old. That really got me into the law enforcement state of mind and I’ve also been a personal trainer so fitness is a huge part of my life,” Tallon said.

Tallon was hired by the Southfield Police Department as a cadet on Sept. 29 and sworn in as an Officer on Nov. 7. “In Southfield they hire officers from the cadet program first then you get promoted to officer,” Tallon said. “I was not sponsored while going through the academy, but they do sponsor candidates. Police Chief (Eric) Hawkins started as a cadet back in 1990. I was very impressed with the department.”

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