Justin Fenton provided an excellent overview of special police designation and its requirements and responsibilities ("Are they police?" Oct. 21). He is correct that Maryland commissions special police to provide limited law enforcement services in designated areas. While there are no mandates for special police to receive training before assuming their duties, there is a program available that prepares them for their role as public safety officers.
To fill this gap, the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) developed a comprehensive Public Safety Officer Academy. The academy is eight weeks in length, has 215 hours of instruction and 252 learning objectives. This academy is specifically designed for those holding or seeking a Maryland Special Police Officer Commission. The curriculum includes classroom instruction and physical training to prepare the officers for the mission of "maintaining a safe and pleasant environment for faculty, staff and students." All of the full-time security staff at CCBC are Special Police officers certified by the Maryland State Police and have successfully completed this eight-week academy.
The School of Business, Criminal Justice and Law is offering another training academy in November for its own Department of Public Safety and welcomes the opportunity to train officers from other agencies. Special police officers have an important role in preserving public safety but only when they are trained to do so within the scope of their limitations. We are proud that we can offer this training and look forward to assisting other agencies in their development of a professional public safety department.
Dennis E. Seymour and Linda L. Fleischer, Dundalk
The writers are, respectively, dean and department chair of Criminal Justice Studies at the Community College of Baltimore County's School of Business, Criminal Justice and Law.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun