Signup time for police academy
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

Time is quickly running out for those interested in signing up for the next night time police academy course to be offered in Sulphur Springs, according to East Texas Police Academy instructor Andy Chester, who will be conducting the 640-hour night classes.

Tuition for the basic peace officer certification course will once again be $800, plus the cost of books and uniforms. The six month class will begin on Oct. 30, and be heldfrom 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, through the end of April or first part of May, in Sulphur Springs Library.

On at least three occasions, the upcoming academy course will require participants to attend weekend sessions: one weekend for a 32-hour driving course at the main academy campus; one weekend for the 40-hour day and night weapons training at the firing range; and at least one Saturday morning designated for training in OC spraying.

The curriculum is designed to cover 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. When completed applicants will also be certified in OC spray, ASP baton and standard field sobriety testing techniques.

In addition to Andy Chester, other instructors will include Hopkins County Sheriff's Reserve Sgt. Glynda Chester and Investigator Lewis Tatum, and ETPA Director Brian Ruthven.

To enroll, applicants must be 21 years old or older, have either a high school diploma or a GED and at least 12 hours of college credit and can have no criminal history.

Students will also be given optional time for physical training, which is not a course requirement but is often helpful as most departments require officer applicants to complete a physical agility test.

Academy cadets are not required to have their own handguns, as the academy will provide weapon and holster. Those attending can utilize their own weapon or gun belt, but must use one or the other provided by ETPA, and personal weapons or belts must match those provided by the academy, Chester said.

Applications for the basic peace officer certification course should be completed and returned to Kilgore as soon as possible. The sooner the packets are attained, the sooner the comprehensive application process can be completed. In addition to the standard paperwork, applications will also have to complete a physical examination, undergo a psychological exam and drug screening. Applicants are responsible for the cost of all exams and expenses associated with the application and class.

For an enrollment packet for the night class, call ETPA at 903-983-8663. For more information about the class in general, contact Andy Chester at work at HCSO, 903-438-4045.

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