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Wayne County Regional Police Academy grad earns many honors

Posted by: Jennifer Gomori Posted date: April 15, 2019

Photo courtesy of Wayne County Regional Police Academy
Wayne County Regional Police Academy Graduate Stephen Ennis received the LEEP Award as well as the Kehrl Award for Academic Excellence.

— By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor

Law Enforcement Education Award (LEEP) recipient Stephen Ennis made an impression with Wayne County Regional Police Training Academy (WCRPTA) personnel, his fellow cadets and is being sought after as a new hire.

The 22-year-old was honored with the $2,000 LEEP Award Nov. 9 during the academy graduation ceremony at Schoolcraft College. With sometimes 12-hour days at the academy, the LEEP Award was especially helpful since Ennis paid his academy tuition as a non-sponsored cadet.

“It was a complete surprise finding out at graduation. I was very excited,” Ennis said. “It’s super helpful, not only financially, paying for the academy can be tough since you don’t have time to work. It’s also a confidence booster as well knowing the effort you put in is being seen by the instructors and the cadre.”

One of the top three pre-service graduates in his class, he also received the $225 Kehrl Award for Academic Excellence, graduating with a 91 percent average. “He was one of our top recruits through the entire academy,” said WCRPTA Director Anthony Mencotti. “His academic rank number is 6 out of 58,” for all graduates. Of the 58, 21 were in-service, sponsored by police departments and 37 were pre-service.

Ennis was also recognized with a $200 scholarship from the David Quinn Scholarship Foundation for being the top recruit selected for knowing the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics. “It’s the foundation of any police department,” Mencotti said of the Code, which focuses on integrity, honor and serving your fellow man. “It’s six paragraphs they must memorize and recite at roll call. At the end of the academy there’s a competition and the class votes on the best person that recited it perfectly.”

“He did a phenomenal job,” Mencotti said. “He also (recited) the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics on graduation night in front of family and dignitaries.”

Ennis was an overall top candidate for the LEEP Award. “He stood out in many different areas. He was one of the best in physical training,” Mencotti said.

Originally, Ennis was considering following in the footsteps of his father, John J. Ennis, Jr., who was a Navy Lieutenant. “Coming out of high school I was thinking about the military, but I wasn’t real sure,” said Stephen Ennis, who served as a Lieutenant in the police academy’s Command Staff.

His career objectives became a lot clearer after attending Career Day at Lutheran Northwest High School. “A detective came in and talked to my high school class. It kind of spoke to me as being both mentally challenging and had a physical element to it,” Ennis said.

Ennis graduated Oakland University in April 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. “Going through college taking all my criminal justice classes, everything just reinforced it more and it became something I was pretty passionate about,” Ennis said.

He completed an internship at Oakland County Jail where he was involved in the Zero Tolerance and Home Confinement programs, which dealt with offenders serving reduced sentences based on not using illegal drugs or alcohol.

Ennis said the internship taught him how conversation can truly become an art form. “It’s incredible what knowing how to interact with people can do,” Ennis said. “I was able to garner respect from some offenders twice my age just from the way I interacted with them.”

He is seeking full-time employment as a Police Officer in the area and eventually hopes to serve the community as a Detective, like the law enforcement officer who inspired him. “I like the intellectual side of it. I will just have to see what doors open up,” Ennis said.

He’s off to a great start. “He’s in the hiring process by several different departments,” Mencotti said in November. “He was sought after.”

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