Cass County Sheriff Joseph Underwood is giving $2,500 to Southwestern Michigan College to establish the Law Enforcement and Corrections Endowment. The money will be used for scholarships at the Dowagiac school, which just started a criminal justice program in the fall of 2013. Students can attend SMC and earn a bachelor's degree from Ferris State University without having to transfer up to Big Rapids. Underwood noted he wanted to do something while he was still in office to help future officers, and says this is his final term as sheriff. He was first elected to the post in 1993 and was with the Cass County Sheriff's Department from 1973 to 1988 before going into the private sector for a few years. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University and the National FBI Academy. Law enforcement jobs are projected to grow from between 5% for correctional officers to 21% for investigator jobs in southwestern Michigan by 2020.
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