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OPA is sponsored by the American Association of Police Officers (AAPO) and the Police Protective Fund (PPF).

Founded in 1989 by a group of law enforcement professionals, AAPO/PPF is guided by an advisory council of law enforcement veterans and distinguished citizens.


Remembering OPA Founder Bill Clede

Emile W. “Bill” Clede, acclaimed writer and founder of the Online Police Academy passed away on June 16, 2003 in his hometown of Windsor, CT.

Clede, 75, continued to oversee the law enforcement courses he offered through OPA, right up until the time of his death. A longtime member of the American Association of Police Officers, Bill approached AAPO in 2000 to take over the reigns of the distance learning organization he founded in conjunction with Millersville University in Pennsylvania. The Online Police Academy was later offered through the Smith & Wesson Academy until finding its final home with the AAPO & PoliceUSA.com.

“We worked closely with Bill, insuring that the law enforcement training he established would carry on,” says David Dierks, Chief Financial Officer of the AAPO and the Police Protective Fund.

“We have continued to offer his courses through the OPA,” notes Dierks, “in an effort to preserve his unique voice within the law enforcement community.”

Bill enjoyed an active and varied career. He graduated from the University of Maryland in 1951 majoring in law enforcement. He was employed by the U.S. Navy, Riverdale Maryland Police Department, U.S. Air Force, National Rifle Association, Hartford Connecticut Times newspaper and the Windsor Connecticut Police Department.

Bill’s first writing effort, a column on the rights of gun owners, sold in 1954 for $5 to his local weekly newspaper. Since that time he sold more than 1,500 magazine articles and newspaper columns, as well as authoring six books. He was also a proud member of National Rifle Association, Society of Professional Journalists, International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors, and American Society for Law Enforcement Training.

Referring to his courses and his often lively and outspoken views, Bill stated: “I can only promise that everything I write is what I believe to be true with sources attributed. My primary professions, reporter
and police officer, are based on truth. For me, it’s a way of life.”