By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor
At a time when potential Law Enforcement Officers are departing agencies across the nation in record numbers, Curt June is starting his second career as a Police Officer. The 48-year-old retired teacher was honored with the $500 Collin Birnie Scholarship Award during the Dec. 19, 2022 graduation ceremony at Law Enforcement Regional Training Academy (LERTA).
“He was the highest scoring pre-service scholastic achievement recruit,” said LERTA Training Director Lt. David Livingston.
|LERTA graduate Curt June received the Collin Birnie Scholarship Award.
The Collin Birnie Scholarship Award, which is sponsored by the Police Officers Labor Council (POLC), is awarded twice yearly at the discretion of the college police academy to graduates who have not been sponsored by any police agency. To qualify, cadets must pass the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) certification test and meet MCOLES employment standards to become certified Michigan Law Enforcement Officers.
June graduated with a 93.5 percent grade point average and was one of four pre-service cadets in a graduating class of 27 from LERTA, at Mott Community College. “There are 27 recruits, so it’s a big class,” said Kitty Severance, LERTA Staff Assistant.
He was sworn in by Lapeer County Sheriff’s Office Dec. 22, 2022 and started working as a full-time Deputy in January 2023.
“I’ve been a Reserve Deputy for nine years with Lapeer County,” he said. “I taught for 25 years and retired from teaching at North Branch High School.”
June received his bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education from Western Michigan University and master’s in Education from Marygrove College.
“After being a Reserve for nine years, it just felt right to do something else and still help people in the community,” he said. “There still is a necessity for officers and I feel that it’s a position you can help your community both in good times and in bad times.”
After graduation, June was interested in finding out more about Birnie. The Flint Police Captain, who served as his Local Union President and a POLC/GELC Executive Committee member, was killed in a two-vehicle crash in February 2022.
“I got online and found out who he was and where the award came from,” June said. “That will help with some expenses I paid out while I was going through the academy.”
He was honored to receive the Birnie Scholarship Award and said he was planning to write a letter of appreciation to the POLC.
“It’s going to help with everything,” June said. “I’m very appreciative of the award and grateful that I’ve received it.”