With an upswing in the economy, and the demand for law enforcement officers rising as once-depleted departments move to replenish their ranks, Sheriff Adam Christianson and the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department have reinstituted the local police academy in Stanislaus County.
“We’ve been operating the academy for about six months now,” said Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Training Division Lieutenant Brandon Kiely, noting that the academy is currently in its second class of recruits since reopening. “There has been such a demand from agencies in the area; we’ve limited it to just students who are hired by police and sheriff’s departments.”
Lt. Kiely said by having cadets affiliated with departments ensures that the much-desired slots are going to viable candidates who have already passed some of the harder portions of law enforcement screening such as the background investigations and psychological exam.
Kiely said trainees from Modesto PD, Turlock PD, San Joaquin, Mariposa, Tuolumne and Stanislaus sheriffs’ departments currently attend the 20-week, 740-hour course.
Gone are the Monday-Friday, 8-hour days as trainees attend the academy on a “4-10” work schedule (four, ten-hour days) similar to a standard law enforcement patrol schedule.
Previously, with entry level positions in law enforcement scarce, and departments on limited training budgets, those interested in a law enforcement career were encouraged to send themselves through a community college sponsored basic POST police academy to get certification to make themselves more attractive to potential hiring agencies.
Now with personnel demand up, and many candidates in “settled” family roles unable to take time away from a paying job to attend a five-month course – let alone finance it – departments have reverted back to hiring the recruit to a paid position and paying their way through training.
“We’re able to get a wider selection of candidates now from people who otherwise wouldn’t do it because of their obligations,” Lt. Kiely said. “This allows them to get paid while training. So far, it’s been very effective.”