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Oakland Police Academy grad uses LEEP Award to buy bullet resistant vest

Posted by: jgomori Posted date: June 4, 2020

By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor

When Tyler Groat graduated Oakland Police Academy in December 2019, he had already been hired by Wyandotte Police Department, where his father works as a Detective.

Photo courtesy of Oakland Police Academy
Oakland Police Academy Director David Ceci (left) congratulates graduate Tyler Groat who was honored with a $1,000 LEEP Award.

Groat was honored with a $1,000 Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP) Award at graduation.

“(The LEEP Award) greatly helped offset the cost of the academy. I had to pay for it out of pocket and it was a really big investment for me,” Groat said. “I will use it to help me pay for my bulletproof vest that I need for work.”

The 25-year-old was one of 38 pre-service cadets in a class of 55 who graduated Dec. 12, 2019. He said he didn’t have time to work during academy. “It’s pretty much like working a full-time job, plus being a student,” he said of the academy.

Groat was chosen for the LEEP Award because he excelled in many areas of the academy.

“His overall performance in every area of the academy was solid,” said Oakland Police Academy Director David Ceci. “He was a hockey player, so he was physically fit. He did well in firearms. He did very well in defensive tactics. Quite honestly, he is a very respectful young man, just a good person. His fellow classmates, you could tell, really liked him. The instructors really like Tyler a lot too.”

“He was in the upper portion of his class (academically),” Ceci said. “This class had an extremely high academic average, and he still was in the top tier of the class.”

Groat earned a Criminal Justice bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan (U of M) Dearborn with minors in Psychology and Political Science. He was a member of U of M Dearborn Men’s Ice Hockey Team.

Groat joined his dad, Wyandotte Police Det. Ken Groat, for his first day as a Wyandotte Police Officer Jan. 8, 2020.  “His dad seems like a really good man too,” Ceci said. “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

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