by Mike Brothers, Drury
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson will be the guest speaker at the Drury University Law Enforcement Academy graduation ceremony 2 p.m., May 15 at the O’Reilly Family Event Center.
Parson served more than 22 years in law enforcement, including 12 years as the sheriff of Polk County. He also served six years in the U.S. Army. Parson served in the Missouri House of Representatives from 2005-11, in the Missouri Senate from 2011-17 and as lieutenant governor from 2017-18. He and first lady Teresa live in Bolivar.
As with Drury’s other graduation ceremonies held this weekend, the event will incorporate social distancing and other public health considerations. Masks are required for all participants and visitors and seating will ensure necessary distance between family groups.
“We’re very pleased to have the governor here to speak to our graduates,” says Academy Director Tony Bowers, a former Polk County deputy during Parson’s time at sheriff. “His record of public service, both in uniform and in Jefferson City, is a great example for our aspiring officers.”
There are 24 graduates in the current academy class; 15 of whom have already been hired by law enforcement agencies across the region – including two at the Independence Police Department in the Kansas City area. An additional eight students will complete their training in July.
The Law Enforcement Academy’s next cohort begins June 7, with 20 students already signed up. Interested students can find more information about enrolling at drury.edu/law-enforcement. The 750-hour basic training academy is offered on Drury’s Springfield campus and is certified by the State of Missouri Department of Public Safety. The academy meets and exceeds the state of Missouri’s minimum training requirement for Class A certification of peace officers