Averett Celebrates Partnerships with All 11 Virginia Criminal Justice Training Academies

Posted on October 23rd, 2019 by Cassie Jones

There are 11 criminal justice training academies across the Commonwealth of Virginia which train more than 85% of law enforcement in the state. Averett University is the only college to have a partnership with all 11.

To celebrate, Averett’s criminal justice department, which offers a Bachelor of Science in sociology and criminal justice as well as a Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration and  Leadership, hosted representatives from the training academies and law enforcement leaders from the region and beyond for a luncheon and program to recognize the educational partnership that allows academy graduates to matriculate to Averett to further expand their education in criminal justice.

In the President’s Suite of the Frank R. Campbell Stadium on Averett’s North Campus, attendees heard from a number of speakers after being welcomed by Averett President Dr. Tiffany M. Franks, and GPS Criminal Justice Program Director Dr. James Hodgson.

“It’s an exciting time to be a part of this link between education and training. I appreciate the partnership and think it’s very valuable,” said Jon Cliborne, executive director of the Crater Criminal Justice Training Academy.”

Erik Smith, law enforcement standards and policy manager for the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, echoed that sentiment after talking through some changes in criminal justice training standards.

“I want to thank Averett University. This is a big step forward in recognizing their [academy graduate’s] training.”

He recalled the past qualifications need to be a police officer, and how they compare to the modern profession.

“Things have changed. The expectation for the public is high for us; we have to be highly skilled and highly trained.”

Citing numerous academic studies, Germannna Community College Police Chief Craig Branch addressed the link between higher education and better overall job performance in the industry.

“We’ve evolved from law enforcement being a job to being a profession,” he said. “We’re looking for critical thinkers and communications skills now. College helps prepare you to handle the stress and utilize those critical thinking skills.

“This partnership provides the opportunity to take the core skills they [academy graduates] learn in our academies and enhance them.This is going to make a major impact on our profession here in the Commonwealth.”

The academies recognized at the event include:

  • Cardinal Criminal Justice Academy
  • Central Shenandoah Criminal Justice Training Academy
  • Central Virginia Criminal Justice Academy
  • Crater Criminal Justice Training Academy
  • Hampton Roads Criminal Justice Training Academy
  • New River Criminal Justice Training Academy
  • Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Training Academy
  • Piedmont Regional Criminal Justice Training Academy
  • Rappahannock Regional Criminal Justice Academy
  • Skyline Criminal Justice Academy
  • Southwest Virginia Criminal Justice Training Academy

Pictured above, from left to right: (Dr. James Hodgson, GPS sociology/criminal justice program director, Averett; Andy McNally, executive director, Central Shenandoah Criminal Justice Academy; Martin Alford, director, New River Criminal Justice Training Academy; Jon Cliborne, director, Crater Criminal Justice Training Academy; Mike Harvey, director, Rappahannock Regional Criminal Justice Academy; Debbie Kaczor, executive director, Piedmont Regional Criminal Justice Training Academy; Dr. Tiffany Franks, president, Averett .)