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Pandemic is no obstacle for Oakland Police Academy LEEP Award recipient

Posted by: jgomori Posted date: January 22, 2021


By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor

The pandemic was just another hurdle to overcome for Oakland Police Academy graduate Jeffrey Simon. Simon was awarded a Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP) Award for his achievements in every aspect of the academy.

“Jeffrey stood out for the LEEP Award because of his overall academy performance,” said Oakland Police Academy Director David Ceci. “He managed to perform extremely well in both the book work and hands on training at the academy. He was competitive and worked extremely hard to be the top at everything he did. He strove for excellence.”

Photo courtesy of Oakland Police Academy
Cadet Jeffrey Simon (left) is congratulated by Oakland Police Academy Director David Ceci at graduation Dec. 4, 2020.

“Additionally, he provided input to academy staff and was very helpful in the academy being a success especially given the uniqueness of the academy given the current pandemic,” Ceci said.

The Director said Simon’s military service did not go unnoticed. He was in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2015-2019 and transferred college credits he earned while working as a field radio operator to Oakland Community College where he obtained an associate degree in General Studies.

“Jeffrey was chosen as a squad leader because he demonstrated leadership abilities very early on in the academy,” Ceci said. “He provided guidance to his fellow classmates and stepped up to help out anywhere needed.”

The 26-year-old is following in the footsteps of his brother, Bloomfield Hills Department of Public Safety Officer Jacques Simon, who previously served as a Fraser Public Safety Officer.  “My older brother is 19 years older and has been an officer for 17 or 18 years,” Simon said. “It was always something I wanted to do, serve my country. I’ve been on multiple ride alongs with him.”

Jeffrey Simon graduated Dec. 4, 2020 among the top of his class with a 95.16 percent average. He was among the 26 pre-service cadets in a graduating class of 45 students. He also received the academy’s Top Driver Award and a $1,000 Sgt. James S. Collins Jr. Memorial Scholarship, named for the military police officer who was killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“The Robbie Johnson Top Driver Award goes to a cadet that has the fastest performance time without hitting any cones in the courses developed by our team of driving instructors,” Ceci said. “Mr. Simon did a phenomenal job during the emergency vehicle operations training.”

Simon was sworn in as a Shelby Township Police Officer in March 2021, but he’s not done with his law enforcement education. “I want to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice once I get into police work,” Simon said in December. “(The LEEP Award) is going to help me out with that.”

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