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Nashville program gives students insight into law enforcement careers

A recently announced partnership between Nashville leaders aims to boost student interest in careers in law enforcement.

The joint effort, dubbed The Law Enforcement Collaborative, provides students from elementary school through college with ways to learn and pursue careers with the Metro Nashville Police Department.

It unifies and expands several existing programs offered by the MNPD, Metro Nashville Public Schools, Nashville State Community College, and other local organizations.

Mayor John Cooper was on hand Tuesday to present the program to the Tennessee Board of Regents office in Nashville.

“We need critical thinkers. We need creative problem solvers,” Cooper said. “We need a police department as gloriously diverse as our city.”

Nashville Police Chief John Drake, MNPS Director Adrienne Battle, Nashville State President Shanna Jackson, and leaders of the Tennessee Board of Regents also spoke at the conference.

Nashville Police Chief John Drake speaks during a press conference for the new Law Enforcement Collaborative, Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022, in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Students as young as third grade have the opportunity to explore career paths with MNPD.

Primary school students can participate in youth and adventure camps and other outreach events organized by the MNPD. Middle schoolers can join the Police Activities League or DARE or attend summer camps and carnivals with the department. High school students can take dual-enrollment courses for college credit or join the MNPD cadet program.

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