Boosting minority recruitment in law enforcement goal of HBCU police academy
Lincoln University introduced its first HBCU police academy in 2021, graduating its first set of recruits six months later
By Ashley Silver
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A college in Missouri is doing its part to diversify the law enforcement field by creating the first police academy at a historically black college or university (HBCU).
According to ABC News, Lincoln University introduced its first HBCU police academy in 2021, graduating its first set of recruits six months later. The class was made up of two Black women, four Black men and three white men.
"Law enforcement agencies across the nation have been pulling their hair out trying to figure out a way to recruit more minorities. And this has never been tried," Chief Gary Hill, co-founder and principal instructor of the program, told ABC. "I would love to see where we can go from here."
All recruits from the inaugural class have graduated from the program. Eight of them now work in law enforcement. Hill, a 26-year LE veteran, also leads Lincoln University's police department, overseeing 22 officers while helping direct the program.
"We must use our power for good. At all times. Even when it’s hard. Your integrity is at stake," Hill told his students. "Be helpful to your communities no matter what your community’s circumstance is, no matter where you land a job as a police officer, no matter what that community looks like."
Hill intends to keep track of Lincoln’s police academy graduates and check in to see their progress in three years. He told ABC that he wants to measure, “How many of those recruits are still in law enforcement, the things that they've experienced and how they feel about law enforcement after those years."