Robby Poffenberger | Assistant News Editor | @robby_poff
Photo courtesy of Rachel C. Sevison-Haws
Bad boys be warned – 22 more street-ready cop school graduates are heading your way.
On July 9, the Utah Valley University Law Enforcement Academy graduated 22 students, each having completed the 11-month course to obtain a certificate that qualifies them for entry jobs in law enforcement. Of the 22 grads, eight already have accepted jobs at various police departments.
According to Patrice Bolen, the administrative assistant of the academy, it’s typical for one third to one half of students to have jobs upon graduation Although, sometimes it can be higher. In May, for instance, 18 of the 23 graduates had been hired by the time they received their certificate.
“It was really remarkable,” said Bolen. “Sometimes it’s just the right combination of a number of circumstances that result in so many hires.”
She added that many of the police chiefs who had hired those graduates came to the ceremony to present those who had been hired with their diplomas.
To graduate, students complete the 18-credit course, which costs about $5,000 before uniform and other fees. They go through a background check and fingerprinting before being admitted. The training comes in two modules – Special Function Officer training and Law Enforcement Officer Training – that they must complete in that order to graduate.
By the end, each student has gone through an estimated 582 hours of training.
According to the academy’s information sheet, maturity “is a must” in order to obtain a certificate and be hired in law enforcement. It warns that students “should not apply if they are not prepared to make the academy experience a top priority in their lives.”
For those who succeeded at this, the academy has special awards to be divvied out upon graduation.
Keith Jensen and Brian Crosby earned the Class Leader award; Melissa Fahrni the Superior Fitness Award; Morgan Page the Firearms award for top skill under duress at the shooting range, as well as the Director’s List Award, which he shared with Richard Crist and the Outstanding Achiever award. Jensen also earned the Professionalism and Ethical Behavior Award and the High Academic Award.
Jensen, Brian Derfler, Spencer Ehlert, Brandon Powell and Agustin Torres each earned Attendance awards for not missing a single class – a difficult feat considering classes typically run every weeknight and every Saturday for nearly 11 months.