The Clark State College Basic Peace Officer Training Academy program will be enhanced further with the donation of a cruiser-SUV from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO).
The 2014 Ford Police Interceptor Utility vehicle is equipped with a light bar and siren.
“As the Sheriff’s office receives new cruisers older ones are often sold at auction,” said Clark County Sheriff Deborah Burchett. “In this instance, we were able to donate the cruiser instead of selling.”
Burchett said the SUV is needed at the Academy since the current fleet of cruisers are sedans and many departments have moved away from sedans to an SUV.
“We wanted to make this donation in order to share resources that were needed by both entities,” said Burchett. “It also strengthens ties between the two entities who have historically been partners in education and employment.”
The SUV will be used for driving classes and stop and approach classes within the Academy.
“Our Academy stands apart from others because we are able to enhance our program through generous donations provided to us by entities such as the Clark County Sheriff's Office and the Springfield Police Division,” said Karen Benton, interim assistant dean for Clark State’s School of Health, Human and Public services. “We value this partnership, their participation in our criminal justice advisory board, and their trust in our program.”
Clark State Police Academy Commander Paul Weber said the donation from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office will help cadets continue to receive the best training available while in the Academy.
“The working relationship we have with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and the Springfield Police Division enables us to give cadets the best training as well as giving these departments top quality officers, who serve our communities,” he said.
“Our current fleet is aging and is in need of replacement,” said Weber. “The new addition will help us get quality equipment to better train our cadets.”
In return for the donation of the SUV, the Matthew Yates Tactical Training space (subject control) will be made available to the CCSO for continued education and training.
Burchett said the space will benefit deputies by providing them with a clean, safe, and quality training venue to grow and develop the skills needed to keep themselves and the community safe.
“The space is needed due to the county not having a facility with training mats,” she said. “We have moved to various facilities over the years but needed stable location. Annually and during new employee training deputies and correctional officers must complete physical subject control training and a safe, padded space is needed to do this.”
Clark State was one of five regional training centers selected in Ohio in 2022. OPOTA advanced training courses offered by the Regional Training Provider are listed as OPOTA courses in the OPOTAs Portal online catalog, and student registration for the courses occurs through OPOTAs Portal.
Weber said Clark State has worked diligently to improve training through the Academy. For the second time in a row, graduates have achieved a 100 percent pass rate.
“We went from one classroom to a five-room training facility,” he said. “There are two classrooms, a practical training room with a Milo computer training for various scenario training. Our weight room went from one stationary bike to a two stationary bike, two treadmills, two ellipticals, a rowing machine, a weight bench training room, and an updated Subject Control Room.”
Weber said in early 2024, the Academy will conduct its first Corrections Academy.
Clark State offers four Peace Officer Training Academies each year—four-month daytime academies and six-month evening academies are each held twice a year. Each academy is limited to 25 cadets. Cadets must be 21 years of age at the time they take the state certification exam. Cadets must also have a valid Ohio driver’s license, a high school diploma or GED equivalent and cannot have any felony or violent misdemeanor convictions. To learn more about the upcoming dates for both daytime and evening academies, please contact Paul Weber at email@example.com.
Interested students should visit Clark State’s Police Academy office in the Brinkman Educational Center in downtown Springfield to pick up and complete the required OPOTA application and other required forms. A candidate is then required to pass a physical assessment test, a physical, a drug screen and be finger-printed for a BCI background check at the Clark County Sheriff’s Department.