MCC-Longview and the Grandview Police Department have collaborated for the “Move Towards the Badge” program.
The department was looking for ways to bring on more officers to represent the community.
Through this program, MCC-Longview provides a scholarship for students interested in becoming police officers.
“They wanted to reach out to the different community to change the narrative of what they see on TV,” MCC-Longview President, Kirk Nooks said. “So they approached us and they said, could we create this grow your own program with a focus on keeping talented folks in town.”
This scholarship provides funding for these students’ classes while they get hands-on training with Grandview police.
“Folks would donate scholarship dollars and we would use those funds to send talented cadets through our police academy,” Nooks said.
The program was supposed to start this Fall, but it started a little earlier than expected.
“I got the call at the end of the year and said we have one candidate that we think would be ideal for this program,” Nooks said.
That candidate is now Officer, Kaitlyn Elias, a recent graduate of MCC-Longview who graduated at the top of her class.
“It's exciting. I'm happy,” Elias said. “It's been a lifelong dream of mine so I'm super excited about it.”
Elias worked in the dispatch center for four years, in hopes of one day becoming like her grandfather.
“My grandpa is a retired major from Kansas City,” she said. “He's my hero. Getting to follow in his footsteps is amazing.”
Now Elias says she living out her dream thanks to this new collaboration.
“It's everything I wanted it to be,” Elias said. “I'm so glad I was able to have the scholarship so I was able to complete that training. It's a dream come true for me.”
The department stated it hopes to enhance its commitment to community policing.
“There's so many different people in a community and you need so many different types of officers to be able to connect with each different type of person in the community,” Elias said.
For more information about this program, click here.
Rae Daniel is a reporter. Hear her full report at 4 p.m. and check back for updates.