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Police chief hopes to offer cadet program
steven haulmark
Steven Haulmark

Great Bend Police Chief Steve Haulmark hopes to create a cadet program for prospective police officers. Haulmark was one of three advisory partners who spoke at Tuesday’s Barton Community College Board of Trustees meeting.

When it comes to meeting regional workforce needs, the college has built partnerships with many individuals who serve on advisory boards that offer guidance. Two other partners who spoke at Tuesday’s meeting are Melissa Nelson-Baldwin, co-owner of South Bend Industrial Hemp in Barton County, and Harold B. VanReenen, plant safety manager at Smithfield Packaged Meats Corporation in Topeka.

Haulmark partners with Barton’s Criminal Justice advisory board. He noted that students in the Criminal Justice program at Barton may finish their education before they are 21 years old but the minimum age for becoming a police officer is 21. That’s why he is proposing a cadet program. 

“Finish your education and when you’re 21 we send you to the police academy,” he said of his vision for the program.

A program of this type would be a good way to keep students in the community and create a team of hometown community guardians on the force, Haulmark said.

Nothing formal has been proposed but Mike Johnson, chairman of the BCC board of trustees, encouraged Haulmark to come to the college when the plan comes together.

Other partners

Baldwin is a partner with Barton’s agriculture advisement. In 2018 she started another business, Performance Crop Research. Every summer, she hires four to six interns, often from Barton’s agriculture or science departments. South Bend Industrial Hemps has employed several baseball players well. Recently, the business was approved for an apprenticeship program for two positions through Kansas Farm Bureau’s award-winning Rural Kansas Apprenticeship Program.

VanReenen said “Barton has been a staple” in providing Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) training at Smithfield.

College administrators report that individuals who serve on advisory boards are recognized representatives of business and industry areas. Members advise career technical educators and administrators, while assisting in the development and maintenance of programs that ensure students have the skills necessary to compete and succeed in the workplace.