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Training for the unexpected

Society puts all its trust in the police whose main job is to protect and even sacrifice their life for the community. The TJC Police Academy trains many men and women to face unexpected situations and become police officers and guards.

“Since I was a little kid, I wanted to become a police officer. That isallIwantedtodo,”saidStevenCampbell,Directorof theTJCLaw Enforcement Academy.

“I wanted to wear a uniform because I served in the Marine Corps and I chose the TJC Police Academy because it is well organized and we get exposed to all the academics as far as learning the law and the penal code and procedures for the state,” said Robert Trombley, Jacksonville Police Department, who graduated from TJC in May 2009.

The TJC Police Academy has offered law enforcement classes and hundreds of in-service courses for law enforcement officers and prospective students since 1998. The Academy is designed to provide quality training at a low cost.

Students enrolled in the police academy are called cadets and are trained to be prepared for the most unexpected situa-

tions”. We have the model for a police academy,” said Randy Melton, Director of Campus Safety.

The basic course takes four and a half months of training which shapes mental and physical skills. The physical challenge starts the first day when everyone is required to do 25 pushups and 30 crunches in less than a minute and run a mile and a half in less than 17 minutes.

Classes are not instructed by professors, but by officers who know the lessons being taught. Tyler Police, the City Marshall and Sheriff’s Department have a written agreement with TJC to provide their support in implementing the Police Academy.

“We spend a lot of time with our cadets in ‘shoot-don’t shoot’ real life scenarios, teach them the penal code and prepare them for the state licensing test,” said Campbell.

“When we do the parts where learning how to deal with wrecks, Tyler PD will send an officer who works in the traffic department. When we do crime scenes, they will send a crime scene supervisor. All of our cadets get the actual training from actual people who are doing the job today,” said Thomas A. Johnson, Executive Director of Public Services.

Many police officers are hurt or killed in the line of duty and every person who is pursuing a career in law enforcement is aware of that risk. Johnson grew up knowing that he was go- ing to get exposed to dangerous situations and yet he decided to serve the community. Today, Johnson is the Executive Director of Public Service Careers after serving 20 years as a police officer in six different divisions.

“My whole life has been serving the community and is fantastic even when you get ex-

posed to so many dangerous situations,” said Johnson.

Basic training focuses on the State Licensing Test. After passing the test and graduating from the academy, cadets are awarded 12 college credit hours, which are important to keep in a criminal justice career. The TJC Police Academy has had a 100 percent passing rate in the last couple of years giving the academy a high preference among police departments. Most of the cadets are hired by police agencies or departments even before they graduate from the Academy.

“Most of our officers are hired. We get them hired before they graduate and we work with them to get them jobs,” said Campbell.

Every person who chooses a public services career has many choices to academically keep improving, but their life is forever changed because along with their diploma they graduate with a sense of duty to protect the community.

“I want people to know whether you’re a police officer or a firefighter, while it is dangerous, it is probably one of the most fulfill- ing things that a person can do because you get to save peoples’ lives and no two days are ever alike,” said Johnson.

For more information about TJC’s Police Academy call (903) 510-2167.

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