Alvernia Criminal Justice Students Benefit from Reading Police Academy Certification

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As an unusual part of their four-year Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice at Alvernia University, three senior-level students are earning Municipal Police Officer Certifications (Act 120) from the Reading Police Academy.

Cadets in training

Cadets train with the Reading Police Academy

It’s an academically and physically rigorous 820-hour basic training program completed in 20 weeks, and designed to provide students with the initial skills necessary to begin their law enforcement careers.

Graduates with degrees in criminal justice (CJ) go on to work in a long list of fields including corrections, courts, social services, and of course — law enforcement. In order to become a municipal police officer in the state of Pennsylvania, recruits must pass Act 120 training. So it’s a very good thing that the Reading Police Academy is close to Alvernia University. In fact, the Academy is located on Alvernia’s campus, and senior-level Alvernia criminal justice students have the option of attending the Reading Police Academy to obtain Municipal Police Officer Certification (Act 120) as part of their four-year program at Alvernia.

“This year, three senior CJ students, Andrew Dittmann, Zackeraya Elmarzouky and Amy Kuhrmann began their Police Academy training in July and will be in training at the Academy until December,” says Dr. Ed Hartung, chair of Alvernia’s criminal justice department. A certified Act 120 instructor, Hartung works closely with the Reading Police Academy to make sure students get the most out of the program. “In addition to the Act 120 certification, students get credits toward their major, and can complete their degree in one more semester,” explains Hartung.

Students are eligible to apply for the Academy during their junior year in order to attend during the first semester of their senior year. This allows recruits to obtain Act 120 certification as part of their four-year degree without extended time or expense.

To be accepted into an Act 120 program, applicants must pass physical fitness tests, a criminal background check, and a psychological exam. “It’s an academically and physically rigorous 820-hour basic training program completed in 20 weeks, and designed to provide students with the initial skills necessary to begin their law enforcement careers,” says Hartung.

The Reading Police Academy is located in Francis Hall on the campus of Alvernia University. The Academy, operated by the Reading Police Department, has been certified since 1976 by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Municipal Police Officers’ Education and Training Commission to teach the basic police officer curriculum.

ALVERNIA is a thriving university that empowers students through real-world learning to discover their passion for life, while providing the education to turn what they love into lifetimes of career success and personal fulfillment, helping them make the world a better place.

Situated on a scenic 121-acre suburban campus in historic Berks County, Pa., the university of more than 3,000 students is conveniently located near Philadelphia (60 miles) and within an easy drive of New York, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. With a College of Arts and Sciences and College of Professional Studies, Alvernia today offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and minors and a range of graduate programs at the master’s and doctoral levels through its School of Graduate and Adult Education. Satellite sites are located in Philadelphia and Schuylkill County. As one of only 22 Franciscan institutions in the country, Alvernia’s focus on caring for each other, the environment and the community are joined with a challenging educational experience to provide an unparalleled environment to grow, develop and mature as a person and professional.

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Carey Manzolillo
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