SWIC POLICE ACADEMY HONORED BY LINC INC.
Belleville-based LINC, Inc. has recognized the Southwestern Illinois College Police Academy
for training recruits to better assist people with disabilities. The group presented SWIC Police Academy Deputy Director Bill Sax the Spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act Award at the recent LINC, Inc. annual organizational meeting. “It’s been one of those programs that has really benefitted the police academy,” said Academy
Director Van Muschler. “The officers get the chance to meet people with special needs
in an environment where they can safely ask questions.” Each academy since 2003 has gone through four-hour training sessions to learn how to better communicate with individuals who have disabilities. In all, more than 600 recruits have participated in the program. During these sessions, visitors from LINC, Inc. spend half a day interacting with the cadets in a safe, judgment-free classroom
setting. In this session cadets are allowed to ask people with disabilities questions about their lives without the fear of embarrassment.
Muschler said cadets often share how important this program is to them in their end-of-training class evaluations. “They say they’re glad to have an opportunity to ask these questions now instead of out on the street where they might be afraid to offend,” he said.