In the summer of 2011, the Henrico Sheriff’s Office began a partnership with Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and Virginia Union University (VUU) which allows college students to attend the Henrico Sheriff’s Office Academy. The students sign up for the class at their respective schools. The faculty of the schools select the best candidates to participate. The students attend the same academy classes our sworn staff attends.
The students receive 6 college credits for the Academy and an additional 3 credits for an on-line class in corrections. At the completion of Academy the students are sworn in as Henrico Deputies. As Deputies, they are allowed to work up to 36 hours a week at the starting hourly wage of a Deputy Sheriff in the Jails. This program is considered an Internship so they are allowed to work as long as they are enrolled in the colleges.
The students supplement our staff by filling in vacancies, which normally are paid overtime to fill. The use of students saves over $12.00 an hour. One year’s savings is just under a million dollars. The advantage to the student is that they can graduate with up to two years Law Enforcement experience. This program has been a win-win situation.
The Student Academy was submitted to NACO (National Association of Counties) and was awarded the Best in Nation in the Criminal Justice and Public Safety category.