Peace officers academy back at WSCC

The course for training police officers and sheriff’s deputies at Washington State Community College received enough enrollment to go ahead for the first time since the spring of 2018, the board of trustees was told at its monthly meeting Monday.

The Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy registered nine students, enough for the academy to go ahead. The students, who started last week, will train 11 hours a day, five days a week through Oct. 11, said John Burdette, who runs the Center for Public Safety Training at the college.

A session proposed to start in the spring had to be canceled, as did one in the fall of 2018, because not enough students registered or qualified. The group graduating in October, some of whom have been waiting for months to start the training, will be the first to come out of the academy since August 2018, and Burdette said the nine students will not come close to filling the law enforcement vacancies in the region.

“Honestly, given the needs out there, we could use 20 people in this class and still not meet the demand,” he said. “It’s starting to get rather severe.”

Burdette said he also hopes to put together a night course as well, starting in August. The evening course is intended for students who are unable to commit to the rigorous hours of the daytime academy, but it takes longer – eight months. The academy consists of 742 hours of training and costs $5,800, which includes some equipment, he said.

Anyone wanting information on that academy can contact Burdette at 740-568-1936.

In other matters, the board received a summer enrollment report indicating that the number of students is up by 1 percent over 2018 but the number of credit hours is down 6 percent.

“We’ve got more students but they are taking fewer credit hours,” said vice president of institutional advancement Amanda Herb.