by Victor Lopez
ODESSA--Less than a year after it was announced that Odessa College would train it's last class of police officers, the Odessa Police Department has announced they'll be training their own. Their academy kicks off this August with it's first class of cadets.
Like many businesses in the area, the Odessa Police Department suffered some losses due to the economy. Having their own academy will give them a rare and unique opportunity.
"It's going to allow us, for the first time in a long time, to be fully staffed at this department. We're very excited about that because there are a number of things we want to do, but can't really do effectively until we're fully staffed," Odessa Police Capt. Chuck Moad, said.
According to Capt. Moad, the new Odessa Police Academy will be supported 100% by the Odessa Police Department, "We're about to host our first Odessa Police Academy. This is an academy that has been put together by the Odessa Police Dept., sponsored by the Odessa Police Dept. and is coordinated and supervised by the Odessa Police Dept."
Even though Odessa College lost it's license to train and certify police officers, they are still playing an important role in this academy. They are providing use of their facilities and support instructors to Odessa Police at no charge.
"We were very pleased with Odessa College. If we weren't, we would not have continued to send our people there. They did a very good job, unfortunately they ran into some problems and we had to step in," Moad said.
By using Odessa College instructors, cadets have a chance earn 20 hours of credit towards an Associate Degree. Something Capt. Moad says Odessa Police are very much in favor of, "We think it's a huge thing. We want all of our people to work on higher education. We want all of them to get college degrees."
Men and women older than 18 years of age are eligible to apply. There are definite advantages in OPD besides being able to train their own cadets.
"We're looking forward to building, from the ground up, an academy that will be strong, will build character, will develop leadership skills and will produce employees that anyone would be proud to have," Capt. Moad said.
Registration begins in July and classes start on August 2nd. The first graduation set for December 17th.