Coatesville native Bakari Green Jr. has been named the first recipient of a scholarship focused on diversifying law enforcement in Chester County.
The scholarship to the Delaware County Community College Municipal Police Academy is the first award made to a student of color, by the Committee for PA Act 120 Certification Scholarship. Financial support for the scholarship comes from The Lasko Family Foundation, with administrative support from JusticeRain INC, a West Chester nonprofit that works locally against broad issues of injustice.
According to Green, who graduated from Coatesville Area Senior High School and West Chester University with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, he grew up in an environment where he saw people struggling with drugs and the problems drugs caused.
“I want to help people and to see better outcomes,” said Green. “Police — regardless of color — are here to help. During this Black Lives Matter era, I want to be a good example of positive change.”
The need for such a scholarship was expressed by Chester County Sheriff Fredda Maddox at a meeting of community members gathered by an informal group referred to as “the Elders” that works toward racial justice.
“All too often when Pennsylvania law enforcement agencies try to hire Black and Brown police, there aren’t candidates who have been trained and certified under Pennsylvania’s Act 120,” said Maddox. “They have college degrees and stellar credentials, but some don’t realize that they need specific training and certification to serve. Other times, after paying for college, graduates don’t have additional funds to attend a municipal police academy.”
A Committee for PA Act 120 Certification Scholarship formed and members — Rabbi Dr. Maury Hoberman; Abdul Mughees; and Maddox, Chief Deputy Kevin Dykes, and Carol Metzker of the Chester County Sheriff’s Office — took on the challenge of establishing a scholarship in two months. Input and support also came from a team at Delaware County Community College, the Lasko Family Foundation and JusticeRain, INC.
Two additional scholarships are available for eligible students of color to attend the college’s Municipal Police Academy training beginning July 2021. To request information and an application that is due no later than April 29, or to make a donation for upcoming scholarships, please e-mail email@example.com.