The Police Academy at Grand Valley State University prides itself on high ethical standards. As a result, comprehensive background investigations are conducted on all potential recruits. The Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) prohibits individuals with felony convictions from entering into any police academy in the State of Michigan. Moreover, potential recruits must possess "good moral character." This is determined on a case-by-case basis and includes an inquiry into the applicant's:
- Personal traits and integrity
- School and employment records
- Home environment
- Arrests and expunged convictions
- Personal protection orders
- All previous law violations (speeding tickets and traffic offenses, shoplifting, minor in possession, assault, disorderly conduct, etc.)
Potential recruits are required to disclose any contact with law enforcement and must provide copies of police reports with their application.
The Police Academy is a professional training program that leads to licensing as a Law Enforcement Officer in the State of Michigan. As such, its structure is based on the law enforcement code of ethics and recruits are expected to incorporate this code into their lives.
~ Law Enforcement Code of Ethics ~
As a law enforcement officer, my fundamental duty is to serve the community; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the constitutional rights of all to liberty; equality and justice.
I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all and will behave in a manner that does not bring discredit to my agency or me. I will maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn, or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others. Honest in thought and deed in both my personal and professional life, I will be exemplary in obeying the laws and the regulations of my department. Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to me in my official capacity will be kept ever secret, unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty.
I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, political beliefs, aspirations, animosities or friendships to influence my decisions. With no compromise for crime and the relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities.
I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of the police service. I will never engage in acts of corruption or bribery, nor will I condone such acts by other police officers. I will cooperate with all legally authorized agencies and their representatives in the pursuit of justice.
I know that I alone am responsible for my own standard of professional performance and will take every reasonable opportunity to enhance and improve my level of knowledge and competence. I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself to my chosen profession - law enforcement.