Police Academy applications now being accepte
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

Dec. 27, 2004 -- Local police academy instructors are encouraging anyone planning to sign up for the next police academy to be held in Sulphur Springs to get their paper work completed and in before or as close to the start of the new year as possible.

"Those planning to take the Jan. 10 night class need to apply to East Texas Police Academy as soon as possible so we can figure out the number of seats we're going to have. The director of ETPA said we have had a lot of response and requests for packets, but only a few have been complete along with routine drug screenings and psychological evaluations which are required," according to lead instructor Andy Chester.

Those signing up for the basic peace officer certification course, which at 640 hours is 40 more hours than last year, who are sponsored through a sponsoring agency within the jurisdiction of the local Council of Governments will be eligible for assistance from COG, according to Chester.

"Anybody that signs up and their commission is sponsored by any departments in our COG area, according to Kilgore College, will now only have to pay $200 instead of $800," said Andy Chester, lead instructor for the Sulphur Springs class. "So essentially our area COG will pay $150 each block and they pay $50 per block, plus the cost of the book.

Classroom instruction will be conducted at Sulphur Springs Library from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. nightly Monday through Thursday, with several practical instruction days held nearby during the day on Saturdays. Only the driving course will not be held in the Sulphur Springs area; cadets will be required to drive to Kilgore to the driving range one weekend for that.

The first block of the class is expected to be completed by Feb. 19, and should conclude by July 23.

The class is open to all who meet program requirements, which can be attained and downloaded along with application packets from East Texas Police Academy's web site. Packets need to be in soon to confirm a spot in the course.

Applicants must also have a high school diploma or the combination of a GED and at least 12 college credit hours. They also can have history of criminal activity on their record.

In order to be a licensed peace officer the student must be 21, or be 21 within 2 years of graduation from the course, the length of time academy graduates have to pass state exam. The 2 1/2 hour timed test, which generally consists of about 250 questions, is comprehensive of the 800 plus objectives covered in the course, and will include some questions asking officers to stipulate the best course of action in different scenarios.

The 640 hour curriculum covers Texas Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedures, Traffic Code, Government Code, Health and Safety Code, U.S. and Texas Constitutions, accident investigation and traffic stops, police pursuit driving, firearms, professionalism and ethics, defensive tactics, search and seizure procedures, 24 hours of Spanish, as well as numerous other topics.

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