ST. PETERSBURG — Lakewood High School, St. Petersburg College (SPC) and the St. Petersburg Police Department are partnering to recruit and train students to become police officers in St. Petersburg.
Students who are juniors will be able to take two, duel enrollment college classes at St. Petersburg College’s Allstate Center location. If they pass the classes, which are Law and Introduction to Criminal Justice, they will then be eligible for a full scholarship to the SPC’s Allstate Center that will cover the costs of an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice.
Students will then have the opportunity to begin a career by joining the St. Petersburg Police Department. The target is to have 50 students participate in the program.
St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway spoke with students in Lakewood High’s journalism program last Tuesday morning about a variety of topics, including the possibility of getting an Associate’s Degree at no charge.
Holloway noted that the City of St. Petersburg was the only police department that paid candidates while they attended police academy. Starting salaries for St. Petersburg police officers is about $42,000, Holloway told the students.
The partnership is an outstanding opportunity for Lakewood High students, said the school’s Principal Robert Vicari.
“Anytime you can have a partnership to prepare students for the future, it’s a great thing,” Vicari said. “This is a grand opportunity to any student even considering police work. To know as a junior, all they have to do is take two classes and pass it and they know that their future is paid for.”