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University Police Scholarship Fund Celebrates Legacy and Future of Law Enforcement
01/27/2014

Sometimes setting up a scholarship is as simple as looking around and recognizing that the people in your everyday world need your help.

That’s what it was like for Bill Stewart, a retired captain and operations officer of Frostburg State’s University Police, who spent nearly 35 years surrounded by ticket writers, dispatchers and other employees who all happened to be Frostburg students – some of whom went on to work alongside him as FSU police officers once they graduated.

So Stewart decided to establish the University Police Scholarship Fund, which supports FSU students seeking a career in law enforcement either through a major course of study or through employment and extracurricular activities. He asked his fellow law enforcement officers to get involved, and they started making biweekly contributions and encouraging others to do the same.

“Police offices have a history of trying to help each other,” he said. “That’s number one in police: Back up your buddy, have your buddy’s back. This is a way of having someone’s back who is potentially going to be your partner … if not yours, then someone else’s.”

Cindy Powers retired in 2009 after 29 years of service with University Police as an officer and eventually a sergeant. A military veteran, she remembers firsthand what it was like to work her way through school, relying on her VA benefits and her paychecks to afford an education at Frostburg.

“When Bill came up with this idea, I thought, ‘That’s great.’ A lot of my family members have gone to Frostburg. It was just a good way to give back and pay forward,” she said. “That way, a lot of people could hopefully eventually get the scholarship and then there’s a possibility that they may want to stay at FSU and perhaps join our department.”

Eventually a scholarship committee was formed to continue the growth of the fund, chaired by FSU Chief of Police Cynthia Smith. The committee also includes Stewart, Powers, Lt. John Ralston and Lt. Scott Donahue.

“I’ve been in law enforcement for a long time,” Smith said. “It’s getting more and more complicated, and it requires staff who are educated and up on current events and what’s going on in the field. This is a way to personally ensure I’m doing something to help the future of the profession. And there are so many great students at Frostburg. It just feels good personally to do something to ensure their success of their educational endeavors and their future professional lives.”

The reasons for people to get involved in helping the University Police Scholarship Fund are endless, Stewart said. “I sincerely hope that people who are working in law enforcement who are alumni, especially the ones who have worked for the University Police department, see the value of the scholarship and the need to give back,” he said.

The local law enforcement community, which often comes to FSU for training and works closely with the University on various initiatives, would also benefit from supporting the fund, Stewart said, as some of FSU’s graduates end up working in the area.

“Law enforcement does cross jurisdictional lines and we do support one another’s activities. … I hope those out there who will read this will say, ‘Hey, he’s right. We should support this.’ We’ve had a lot of people come through our department as student employees and friends. … I think this would be a wonderful opportunity for them to recognize where they came from.”

To learn more about the University Police Scholarship Fund and find out how to get involved, visit www.frostburg.edu/foundation or call 301-687-4161.

Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 12 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit www.frostburg.edu or facebook.com/frostburgstateuniversity. Follow FSU on Twitter @frostburgstate.

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For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589
E-mail: news@frostburg.edu