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National Guardsman receives LEEP Award to help with academy costs

Posted by: jgomori Posted date: July 29, 2019

Photo courtesy of LERTA
Police Officers Labor Council Executive Committee member Collin Birnie presents LERTA graduate Kyle Applebee with a $1,000 LEEP Award at his graduation.

– By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor

Kyle Applebee has a history of serving his country, but the Law Enforcement Regional Training Academy (LERTA) graduate needed a little help himself when it came to paying for his police academy training.

Applebee, who graduated with a 94.5% average, was awarded a $1,000 Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP) Award for being the highest scoring, non-sponsored recruit overall at the Mott Community College academy. He was one of 11 pre-service cadets in the academy’s graduating class of 19 recruits May 2, 2019.

“It’s always great to be recognized for something like that,” Applebee said. “It bridges the gap post-academy and being unemployed. It helps take care of some necessary things, like bills. It would be a little more difficult without having this award.”

The 27-year-old former U.S. Marine Reserve enlisted in the Michigan National Guard in April 2018 after serving 6-1/2 years in the Marines and completing his Criminal Justice bachelor’s degree at Grand Valley State University.

“I did attend my National Guard drill weekends throughout this academy, so that helped as well because I did receive some money for that,” he said. “Also, I took out financial aid, so this award helps me pay that back.”

Applebee was hired as a full-time Flint Township Police Officer shortly after graduation. He felt the academy structure prepared him well as every cadet takes on different roles, including leadership positions.

“To be given this award means a lot to me,” he said. “I couldn’t have really done it without the help of the academy staff and instructors. They just do a stellar job. The instruction they gave in the 16 weeks was some of the best I’ve had.”

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