The Minnesota Chiefs of Police Foundation announced it will launch a college scholarship fund to support students interested in pursuing careers in law enforcement. The scholarship program will draw upon the success of the "Wear the Badge" campaign that profiles real Minnesota police officers and why they chose to pursue law enforcement as a career.

"In the year since we launched the campaign, more than 100,000 people have viewed 'Wear the Badge' videos and shared the stories on social media," MCPA president and Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts said in a news release. "Along the way, we've learned just how much scholarships could boost policing as a profession and help more people realize their dream of protecting and serving."

MCPF will offer $500 scholarships to prospective students not currently enrolled in a post-secondary law enforcement program. The $1,000 scholarships will be available to students already studying law enforcement or a related field at an accredited Minnesota college.

The nonprofit foundation is affiliated with the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association, which launched "Wear the Badge" in 2018. The application period will be open through Jan. 21. Students can complete a application at WearTheBadge.org. MCPF will support diversity and also consider financial need with the Wear the Badge Scholarship program.

The first class of Wear the Badge Scholarship recipients will be named next spring and recognized during the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Statewide Awards Banquet. MCPF is also accepting donations to its scholarship fund. To learn more, visit WearTheBadge.org or MNchiefsfoundation.org.