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Scholarships aid criminal justice majors

by Andrew Maciejewski - amaciejewski@h-ponline.com

The Indiana Sheriff’s Association (ISA) announced it will be awarding approximately 40 scholarships of about $750 to qualifying Indiana residents who want to pursue a degree in criminal justice.

Huntington County Sheriff Chris Newton said he hopes the scholarship encourages the next generation of law enforcement officials, whether they are prospective prosecutors, detectives or officers. He said that both the Huntington County Sheriff’s Department and Huntington Police Department are very fortunate, since they have a force of qualified, talented officers in the field, but he said many departments struggle to stay fully staffed.

“I think if you look across the nation as a whole, we’re all having problems with staffing,” Newton said, since people interested in getting into law enforcement could potentially make more money in the private sector. “Also, it’s very difficult when you turn on the national news and you see nothing but negativity, especially in terms of law enforcement. It doesn’t seem to be an exciting and enticing way to bring young people out of college into this profession, but that is why we have been working so hard to change that attitude.”

Newton has been on the scholarship committee through the ISA Board of Directors for six years, and he said that the people involved in ISA just want to support anyone who would like to give back to their community, especially here in his hometown.

“Law enforcement across the nation, they really care about their communities, they care about what they do and they care about the people,” he said. “I always tell people that I’m so happy to live in a small community like Huntington. Huntington really embraces their law enforcement officers.”

When reviewing applications, Newton said they look for individuals who meet the criteria and factor in their need for assistance.

To qualify, applicants must be an Indiana resident and a member of the ISA or a dependent child or grandchild of a current ISA member. The applicant must also attend an Indiana college or university full-time (12 credit hours) and major in a law enforcement field, according to an ISA press release.

Newton added that while a bachelor’s in criminal justice is a great way to gain knowledge and experience on the way to a career in law enforcement, he said other degrees could qualify as well, like psychology, behavioral science and related fields.

“We don’t cut anybody out. If you want to get a scholarship because you want to be a prosecutor somewhere or you wanna go to the state police, conservation force, the federal bureaus or whatever, with that scholarship, you’re still eligible for that.”

If applicants have any questions about the program, they are encouraged to call HCSD at 260-356-2520 or visit the website below.

Applications are available at Huntington North High School’s counselor’s office, www.indianasheriff.org or the Huntington County Sheriff’s Department, 322 E. State St. Huntington, IN 46750.

Applications must be submitted by April 1, 2019.