Beloit College provides scholarship for police officer

Beloit College provides scholarship for police officer


BELOIT, WIS—Beloit College will provide a full summer scholarship at the College’s intensive Center for Language Studies to allow the Beloit Police Department to enhance the quality of its service in the local Latino community.

Responding to a request from Beloit Police Chief Richard Thomas, College President John Burris announced that the College would provide a nine-week program in intensive Spanish, the equivalent of a year of study at the college level. “This is the sort of cooperative gesture that enhances the quality of life for the whole community. Beloit College is pleased to make this opportunity possible. It is in keeping with our support of a diverse and international atmosphere on campus and our concern for a strong and safe community,” said Burris.

Chief Thomas noted that it will “enhance our capacity to integrate our services into the growing Hispanic community in Beloit. Right now, we are not meeting those needs adequately, but with another Spanish-speaking officer in addition to our current Latino officers, we can do a better job of serving our Spanish-speaking citizens and referring that commmunity to programs and benefits that are available.”

The police officer selected for the program is Mary Ruekert, a six-year veteran of the force. She is a 1993 graduate of Millikin College in Decatur, where she majored in secondary education and studied Spanish for two years. “She will be relieved of her patrol duties for the nine-week course of study… Learning Spanish will be her job this summer,” notes the Beloit police chief. He indicated that when Officer Ruekert returns to routine department responsibilities, she will work with Officer Veronica Weber, a member of the force from Peru, as she continues to enhance her language capacity.

Officer Ruekert starts the program with approximately 90 students attending the Center for Language Studies programs in seven languages. The program continues through Aug. 9.

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