Letter to the Editor: In support of the SIU police academy

By Emily Buice, Undergraduate Student Government president

To the SIU Community,

To begin, I would like to thank those of you who have stood up and voiced your concerns about the proposed police academy at SIU. Your passion is one of the most valued characteristics of a Saluki and it shows your dedication to our campus and community.

However, I am writing to you today to voice my support for the proposed SIU police academy.


We live in an imperfect society, and the fundamental issues that necessitate police will, unfortunately, not be resolved with the snap of our fingers. Change will only occur through hard work and time.

I do not say this with blind support. I recognize that there are issues such as corruption, brutality and bias that taint our police forces. However, this academy can be an avenue of change if we embrace it. We say we want more conscious police officers. We say we want officers who are more tolerant of other ways of life. To achieve these goals, we must provide our police force with an education.

A police academy at SIU would allow us to produce the type of police officers we want in our world. We can provide the education and training that will bring change from within.

Many of our students who major in Criminology and Criminal Justice and related majors want to go on and become police officers and make a change in our communities. SIU graduates that have already fulfilled some or all requirements to become a law enforcement officer will be highly valued in the job market. We can enable our students to become productive and valuable assets to society through a police academy.

Another aspect to consider is the demand for the academy, not only with our own students, but with police forces in the area. The closest police academy in Illinois is located in Belleville. By introducing a police academy to Southern Illinois, we will draw in business and bring much needed revenue to our University while educating our community law enforcement agencies on topics that will, ultimately, lead to a more sensitive and aware police force.

After talking with the Criminology and Criminal Justice Department, it is clear that the police academy is not fully developed. There are many more steps in the process of creating this institution. Meaning, we have the power to form an academy that best serves our campus and our society. We have the opportunity to spell out what we want in a modern police force through this training center.

Bringing this resource to campus does not spell out dire future. Instead, it is an opportunity to bring change to police culture. Again, I do not say this with blind support. There are issues that need to be resolved. But, we can take the complaints, the concerns, and work to resolve them by educating a police force that will serve the communities they are a part of.

With Saluki Pride,

President Emily Buice

Emily Buice is the Undergraduate Student Government President and can be reached at [email protected]