The University of Illinois Police Department is welcoming two new police officers who graduated from the police academy last week and were sworn in this week.
Officers Malik Harrison and Nina Thigpen graduated on Thursday from the University of Illinois Police Training Institute. On Monday, they began the field training process, during which they will be paired with training officers who will spend several months helping them to further refine their skills and abilities.
Officer Harrison studied Kinesiology and Sports Studies until 2017 at Eastern Illinois University. He previously was a correctional officer with the Coles County Sheriff’s Department. Officer Harrison was a running back with the EIU football team and a sprinter for the track team.
Officer Thigpen is a 2018 graduate of Southern Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. She was previously employed in SIU’s housing and dining facilities, and before that as a youth worker with the Community Violence Protection Program in Chicago and as a recreational leader with the Chicago Park District.
“Both of these officers will be valuable additions to our growing team, and they showed a great deal of commitment and passion at the academy,” said Executive Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police Craig Stone. “I’m looking forward to what the future holds for our two new officers, as they clearly are dedicated to helping and protecting their fellow community members.”