Recently, the Star Tribune featured a story on the Law Enforcement Career Path Academy (LECPA). A partnership between the City of Saint Paul, AmeriCorps, Century College, and Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties, LECPA is “designed to supercharge diversity at the St. Paul Police Department by removing financial and educational barriers to college and a law enforcement career for low-income young people.”
LECPA participants receive rigorous classroom instruction, perform community outreach, and receive a training stipend on their journey toward a two-year college degree and becoming a member of the St. Paul Police Department. Since the program was established in 2017, 94 percent of participants are from the BIPOC community, 84 percent qualify as low-income, and more than 40 percent are female. The Star Tribune’s St. Paul beat reporter James Walsh notes that as program enrollees “get to know the people and neighborhoods they could someday patrol… the community meets young potential police offices who grew up in the same neighborhoods, speaking the same languages and facing the same challenges.” St. Paul police officer and LECPA graduate, Victor Rodriquez, concurs, adding that "Everyone's experiences have something to do with how you police. For me, growing up in the city of St. Paul, growing up in the neighborhood, it helps me know the background and what they're experiencing."
Community Action is proud to be part of this important civic partnership and looks forward to working with the next class (and many beyond) of LECPA students. If you are interested in participating in LECPA, please visit the St. Paul Police Department online (https://www.stpaul.gov/departments/police/administration-office-chief/community-engagement-division/youth-outreach/law) to learn more about program eligibility, benefits, requirements, and the path to police certification.