By April Earl
Sweat drips from the faces of men and women as they make the run to reach the finish line as part of their quest to become a police officer.
The TJC law enforcement academy is roughly a 20-week program. It consists of physical and mental training and instruction on all aspects of law enforcement.
An extensive recruiting process takes place in choosing Tyler’s finest. Tyler PD and Smith County choose their recruits to send to the academy. Usually the recruits have had previous experience in the crime field excelling as a jailer or other jobs. Passing a background check and polygraph examination are a few of the requirements. Cadets must pass a physical examination as well as regular drug tests.
Once accepted, cadets must be able to do push-ups and run a mile and a half under 18 minutes. By the end of the training, they will be able to run six miles.
“It’s an amazing program … the police academy is something I feel honored to be a part of,” said Nathan McMillian, cadet at TJC police academy.
Every student applying to the program has to have 30 hours of college credits or have served three years in the military. The cost for the Basic Peace Officer Academy is $999. The Supplemental Peace Officer Course is $375. One would need the Supplemental course if they, for example, were a police officer in Tennessee and moved to Texas.
“The program is both challenging mentally and physically, but in the end it will all be worth it,” said McMillian.
The cadets do two hours of physical activity every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The Tyler PD swat team usually conducts the physical sessions.
Contact Jeanine Grimes at TGRI2@tjc.edu or 903-510-2404 for details about courses.