Jonathan Aron Dickey wants to be a cop. And his wish may well come true with the help of some Prince George's County police officers who have awarded Dickey a two-year scholarship to Prince George's Community College.
Dickey, 18, who just graduated with honors from Suitland High School, is the first recipient of the Hubbard-Wade Police Officers' Scholarship, established in memory of Police Officer Raymond Hubbard and State Trooper Gary L. Wade.
Both men were killed last year. Hubbard was killed while trying to stop a robbery at Iverson Mall. Wade was struck by a truck on I-95 near Aberdeen, Md., while he was writing a ticket.
Dickey, a Capitol Heights resident, heard about the scholarship from his high school counselor. But he was stumped when the application required him to write a 200-word essay telling why he wanted to pursue a career in law enforcement. "I started 10 or 11 times before I finally got it down to 200 words," he said.
"I like helping people," Dickey said last week, summing up the reasons behind his career choice. The aspiring policeman wants to stay in Prince George's, where he can work around the people he grew up with. Besides, he said, "P.G. County officers have always had a strong reputation, and I respect that."
Dickey hopes to become a homicide detective and a precinct captain. And he already has had an opportunity to test his aptitude for the job. In 1980, he graduated at the top of his class from the Law Enforcement Explorers Academy held at the Seat Pleasant police station.
The Hubbard-Wade scholarship was set up by friends of the dead officers. It is offered to Prince George's high school seniors with a grade-point average of at least 3.0 who are interested in studying law enforcement. Financial need also is considered. Dickey, who achieved a 3.26 grade-point average, was highly recommended by teachers.
Two of Dickey's six siblings have won scholarships in the past. His parents, Lessie and Abraham Dickey, always have encouraged their children to work hard, Dickey said. His father is a D.C. cabdriver.
Officer Clifton Brinkley--who, along with State Trooper Vernon Herron, selected the youth--said everyone was so impressed by Dickey "that we decided to give him a full two-year scholarship."
The $1,850 award will cover Dickey's college tuition, fees and books. Police raised more than $7,000 for the scholarship fund at a basketball game held in honor of the slain officers.