Volunteer officers attend Southern Illinois school for free

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A southern Illinois university is offering free tuition to law enforcement officers who volunteer as security guards.

Lindenwood University's Belleville campus found itself with more students than its security force could handle.

So it offered a deal to Belleville police and the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department. Officers who volunteer for a minimum of 10 hours a week get free tuition.

About 35 officers and deputies have signed up and provide security 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Belleville Police Chief Bill Clay says volunteers wear their city or county uniforms on patrol at the school.

And they can call for backup by pushing a button on their radios.

The school expects enrollment to grow by more than 130 students this fall.

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