New training program for corrections officers to graduate first class



Leah Nixon

Director of Communications

(616) 234-4213

Sept. 15, 2017 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College will graduate 11 people from a new training program for corrections officers on Sept. 29.

Staff and faculty in the Criminal Justice Department worked with partners in the sheriff's departments of Kent, Allegan and Ottawa counties and the Michigan Sheriff's Coordinating and Training Council to develop the program. 

"During the early to mid-1990s, the law enforcement community experienced significant growth," said Jermaine Reese, an assistant professor in the Criminal Justice Department. "Those men and women who were hired during that period have reached the age of retirement. Corrections agencies are experiencing shortages now and predicting mass retirements within the next several years." 

While the five-week academy was created to meet the needs of West Michigan agencies, program graduates will be certified to work in any sheriff's department in the state, Reese said.

The academy's first group of students -- candidates from sheriff's departments in Kent, Allegan, Ottawa and Berrien counties -- will graduate during a ceremony at 10 a.m. Sept. 29 in room 108 of Sneden Hall, 435 E. Fulton St. The academy's next session begins in March 2018. 

GRCC's Criminal Justice Department offers associate degrees in corrections, juvenile services and pre-criminal justice, as well as certificates in addiction studies and corrections. Students who enter the department's Police Academy can earn an associate degree in law enforcement or, if they already have a degree, a certificate.

Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for more than 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.