Criminal justice students at the University of Louisiana
at Monroe received welcome news as Governor Kathleen Blanco
signed Senate Bill 194, which will ultimately give them the
opportunity to become POST-certified police officers in Louisiana
as part of their college curriculum.
Senator Robert Barham, R-Oak Ridge, introduced this bill
at the request of Harold Williamson, the head of ULM’s
criminal justice department. It passed unanimously with no
nays and few absences in both houses of the legislature.
“This should enhance the criminal justice program in
that it gives students a truly marketable circumstance—they
can go to work immediately at any local agency in Louisiana
without having to become certified at cost to the agency
in money and time,” said Williamson. “Agencies
tend to favor those applicants who are already POST-certified
when making their hiring decisions.”
Participating students will attend the North Delta Regional
Training Academy, a component of the criminal justice department,
during the summer months for 12 weeks (approximately May
15 to Aug. 15). This bill allows their certification to remain
in effect without full-time employment for a period of two
The criminal justice department currently plans the inaugural
offering of this six-hour course to run through both summer
sessions in 2008.