WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Some Wilmington police officers are not getting promoted because of their lack of education.
An officer must have an Associate's Degree or higher to be promoted to a sergeant and a Bachelor's Degree to be a lieutenant. Officers say that basic law enforcement training just is not enough to be as effective as possible.
Sergeant Kelly Sipe is studying criminal justice at UNC Pembroke and said he is learning more about the underlying causes of crime.
"For law enforcement officers having that Bachelor's Degree is not just another accomplishment," Sipe explained. "It's what it does for you on the streets of Wilmington not just for the officers, but what we can spread out to the streets of Wilmington to the citizens."
With this knowledge he's not just handcuffing someone. He has a deeper understanding of the matter and can analyze the problem and work to implement a plan.
More education means more pay. Officials said that if they have their Bachelor's Degree, they'll get an additional $2000. Officer Dena Larry is currently studying healthcare management at Mount Olive College, but said that she is not just doing it for more money.
"There are so many possibilities for an injury doing my job, you never know what you are going to encounter during the day, so I needed to have a plan B just in case something happened out here," Larry said.
The Wilmington Police Department is having a Send a Cop to College charity dinner on May 3 at 6 p.m. at Cape Fear Community College. The event will raise money for officers going back to college. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased at the Wilmington Police Department, WPD Southeast Command, Hanover Federal Credit Union and Wrightsboro Super Grill. For more information email email@example.com.
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