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The "Larry and Deb Stephens" Academic Scholarship

The Larry and Deb Stephens Academic Scholarship was created in 2016 and named after Larry Stephens and Deb Pillette-Stephens.

Larry Stephens has a long history with OPOA that started as a charter member, then serving on the OPOA Executive Board for 20 years and finally as the OPOA Business Secretary for 15 years. 

Larry served 32 years with the Salem Police Department retiring as a Sergeant. During his time with Salem PD, Larry worked patrol, narcotics, crimes against persons and administration. He was the president of the Salem Police Association, Oregon Narcotics Enforcement Association, and Oregon Homicide/Robbery Association and of the Oregon Peace Officers Association.

He is the recipient of the Prestigious “L. Dale Morris Award”, Oregon Crime Victim Network Service Award, Public Service Award and he also received a Certificate of Merit award.

Deb Pillette-Stephens received her BS and MS degrees from WOU and taught and coached at both the middle and high school level. Deb then switched her career focus to law enforcement and worked for Marion County Sheriff’s Office performing clerical, court services, transport, and warrant division duties. Deb was then hired as a police officer with Salem Police Department and served in both patrol division and detectives. She then combined her love for law enforcement and teaching, and has been a full time criminal justice instructor for Chemeketa Community College since 1992, teaching hundreds of students who have become active law enforcement throughout Oregon. Deb is responsible for the development of Chemeketa’s unique LERE and CORE programs involving both academic and active hands-on training incorporating a uniform duty-day for law enforcement and corrections students. Deb also volunteered for six years as an on-call sexual assault victim advocate through the Marion County District Attorney’s Office Victim Advocate Division.

Larry and Deb have been married since 1976 where they combined their strengths and experience in Law Enforcement into Education. They have been strong proponents of education and training so much that every year they have spearheaded the OPOA Scholarship. They have spent countless hours developing, reviewing and making recommendations for the scholarship recipients each year.

Due to the love and compassion that Larry and Debra Stephens have for the Oregon Peace Officers Association and the future of the Oregon Law Enforcement Profession all future OPOA Scholarships will be known as the Larry and Deb Stephens Academic Scholarship.

Scholarship Criteria

The goal of the Oregon Peace Officers Association is to provide leadership and service to the law enforcement community in the advancement of the profession, and to the advocate for the safety and security of law enforcement professionals and the citizens of Oregon. The criteria for the scholarship are as follows:

1. The applicant must be a dependent of a current Oregon Peace Officer Association member and a citizen of the United States.

2.  Must submit a letter of recommendation from an Oregon law enforcement officer who knows you personally.

3.  Must submit a brief one page double spaced essay, outlining the applicant’s achievements, and future academic and life goals. Must address specific goals in anticipated career in law enforcement.  The essay must be typed or computer written, signed and dated.

4.  Must be either a high school senior, its related equivalent, or currently enrolled in an accredited institution of higher education within the state of Oregon with 12 or more credits per term, preference will be given to students who are pursuing a career in Criminal Justice.

5.  The Scholarship will be based on proof of a 3.0 or better cumulative G.P.A., verified by a certified copy of grade transcript from the applicant’s high school or college.

6.    If requested, must submit to an oral interview with the Scholarship Committee, at a mutual time and date.

7.    Only fully completed applications will be considered, and finalists will be selected from the initial applications. Scholarship applications should be mailed to:


Attn: Scholarship Committee

4190 Aumsville Highway SE

Salem, OR 97317

8.  Closing date for acceptance of scholarship applications is MAY 1, of each year.  Notification will be made to the recipient(s) by mail as soon as possible after the selection.

9. Scholarships of $1,000.00 will be awarded to the recipient(s) through the Financial Aid Office of the college designated by the recipient to be used for registration at the college.

Download Scholarship Application

Download Scholarship Flyer 

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Oregon Peace Officers Association
4190 Aumsville Highway SE | Salem, OR 97317

Email:  opoa@opoa.info
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