History was made at Sacramento State on Oct. 12 when President Robert S. Nelsen, Sacramento Police Chief Sam Somers Jr., and California Highway Patrol Assistant Chief Jonni Fenner joined forces to launch the Law Enforcement Candidate Scholars (LECS) program – the first of its kind in the nation.

Also signing the “scholars to officers” partnership agreement during ceremonies at The WELL was LECS (pronounced lex) founding director Shelby Moffatt, a former Sacramento police officer and now a member of Sac State’s Criminal Justice Division faculty. He called it “a momentous, historic, groundbreaking occasion,” adding, “We believe this to be the gold standard in higher education.”

LECS signing ceremonySigning are (left to right) Sacramento Police Chief Sam Somers Jr., University President Robert S. Nelsen, CHP Assistant Chief Jonni Fenner, LECS director Dr. Shelby Moffatt, and College of Health and Human Services Dean Fred Baldini. (Sacramento State/Jessica Vernone) More photos

Somers, who was #MadeAtSacState, added that LECS is a “model program” that will “get people into the (law enforcement) profession and ready to hit the streets.”

More than 50 uniformed officers from the two agencies, and dozens of University faculty and staff as well as criminal justice students, witnessed the signing ceremony in the Terrace Suite of The WELL.

The LECS program is open to Sac State juniors and seniors, no matter their major. Among the program’s goals are to increase retention and graduation rates, create a strong partnership between Sac State and law enforcement agencies, and ensure that law enforcement personnel and leaders mirror the state’s diversity.

“We will focus on both career and leadership development – and positioning these scholars to become officers and to take leadership roles in the future,” Moffatt says. “Now these students will not only graduate from Sacramento State, but they will have jobs in law enforcement.”

To learn more about LECS: csus.edu/hhs/lecs. – Dixie Reid

In the media:

"Want to be a cop? Sacramento State launches job path for police, CHP hopefuls," The Sacramento Bee

"New program to help Sacramento State students become police officers," ABC 10