Restaurant Aids Officers Studying Criminology

Back the Blue Promotion Donates Portion of Sales at Rockfish Seafood Grill

Dec. 2, 2009

Rockfish Seafood Grill in Richardson is teaming up with UT Dallas to encourage and support students who want to dedicate their careers to fighting crime by earning criminology degrees.

Rockfish will donate 10 percent of sales on the first Monday of every month to the Blue Fund at UT Dallas. The Blue Fund provides scholarships to peace officers who are working toward bachelor’s degrees in criminology.

UT Dallas employees and students also save 15 percent on meals on Back the Blue Mondays at Rockfish.

“This is a way for all of us to show our appreciation for students working in law enforcement,” said Dr. James Marquart, associate provost and professor of criminology in UT Dallas’ School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences. “We strongly believe the best form of community protection is an educated law enforcement force. A meal at Rockfish in support of these students’ education is a way to demonstrate that we are grateful for all they do for us.”

The Texas Legislature recently passed a bill that provides state funds for criminology-related courses. Tuition and fees will be waived for all criminology courses taken at state institutions by peace officers. Of the 120 hours required for a standard bachelor’s degree in criminology, 36 would qualify for the waived tuition.

The peace officer student must pay the additional tuition and fees required to earn a degree. UT Dallas’ Blue Fund was established to help officers cover the additional costs.  The school is encouraging individuals and businesses to support the scholarship fund and support the efforts of Texas peace officers wishing to extend their education.

Any designated Texas peace officer pursuing a criminology-related degree would qualify for the state tuition assistance. UT Dallas wants to target officers who already showed initiative by completing their first two years of undergraduate study. The Blue Fund scholarship funds would go primarily to officers in their junior and senior years.

“Peace officer” is an official designation decreed by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education. To become licensed as a peace officer in Texas, individuals must successfully complete the basic licensing course, pass the state licensing examination and be appointed by a law enforcement agency. A typical peace officer may be a young police officer just beginning his or her career.

“Rockfish is truly excited to have a partnership with UT Dallas supporting our local police officers,” said Jeff Pierce, chef director of the restaurant. “This scholarship fund is a chance to acknowledge their service and reward their efforts with the opportunity to continue their education.”

Rockfish is at the corner of Coit and Campbell roads.

“I hope everyone comes out to enjoy the good food and support the cause,” Marquart said.


Media Contact: Emily Martinez, UT Dallas, (972) 883-4335, emily.martinez@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu

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Flier detailing the Rockfish promotion

Rockfish Seafood Grill in Richardson will donate 10 percent of sales on the first Monday of every month to the Blue Fund at UT Dallas.

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