A coastal Law Enforcement Academy?

No, we're not talking about THAT Police Academy!

In South Carolina, law enforcement officers must go through training and become certified through classes offered at the state's Criminal Justice Academy near Columbia. Those of you who travel the interstates from city to city around the state have probably noticed the proliferation of law enforcement vehicles from various departments, all heading towards Columbia. Now you know where a lot of them are headed.

As of late, there are concerns in the state's law enforcement community that the present system may be breaking down, due to class overload, and that this backlog is affecting the ability of departments to get needed officers out of the classroom and on to the streets.

Having grown up in a law enforcement household (my father was sometimes a firearms instructor at "the academy" over the years), such issues are near and dear in the Blogland:

Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen has 19 new officers coming on board during the next few months, but it could be a long while before some of them hit the streets to serve and protect.

That's because the state Criminal Justice Academy in Columbia is struggling to keep up with the demand for training new recruits, forcing police departments to wait months for classroom openings. At present, it's the only place in South Carolina for new officers to go.

Mullen wants to change that. He is proposing that Charleston lead the way in establishing a Lowcountry regional training academy to ease the state's burden and get new officers on the streets in a more timely fashion.

- Charleston Post and Courier

If the present system isn't working, then Mullen's idea seems worth considering, especially considering that many coastal region communities are two hours or more drive time from the academy in Columbia.

Thanks to Glenn Smith at the Post and Courier for a job well done on this story.

5 Response to "A coastal Law Enforcement Academy?"

  1. west_rhino 22/1/08 09:34
    Earl, we have an academy in the low country already. The Federal LE academy, as I understand it has backed out of prime coastal real estate in Glynco, Georgia for the former NAVSTA Charleston and the Weapons Station Charleston.

    While a need exists, proceeding with caution, as the proposed academy has no place being a fiefdom of Joe Riley's mainfest destiny. Ditto the murmured Charleston Fire Academy. Were Joe Riley not involved, I'd be less suspicious.

    SCETV and our Technical College System could well take up a significant portion of the training load for classroom elements, minimizing the required in residence practical training time at the Academy on the Braod River and I suspect that could well work for both academies on the Broad River.
  2. Anonymous 22/1/08 11:50
    I have concerns for a local academy as well. The reason for the backlog at the academy is that so many new people are going into law enforcement. I am a law enforcement officer. When I went through the academy there were about 40 people in my class. The academy now has classes of about 80 people coming through at a time. In the article I believe it states that it would take approximately 270,000 dollars to get started. There is no way. If they want an academy that does the same job and has the same training as the one in Columbia, that will barely pay the utilities. Then finding instructors with the qualifications that the ones in Columbia have...well that should be a tough task as well. If it was possible to have an academy with ALL of the same things that the one in Columbia has to offer, then it's a great idea, if that can't be done then it's really not even worth the effort.
  3. Earl Capps 22/1/08 12:31
    West raises a couple of good ideas - piggybacking with the federal facility, while the courses would be different, might promote a higher level of cooperation between individuals.

    Anyone who has seen the Seahawk program we have here in Charleston would probably agree such a joint facility would bolster this effort. On the coast and with the port and a major Air Force base, the sooner our law enforcement personnel learn to work together, the better.

    Relying on technology to help deliver class material would be a good way to keep costs down, and the training standardized.

    It doesn't sound like a Joe idea. Mullen is an out-of-the-box guy, and this facility is really aimed at the entire coast, not just Charleston.
  4. north of the florida panhandle moye 22/1/08 21:55
    I was just going to say send them to Georgia for training. In fact I am in Valdosta tonight flew into Jacksonville this afternoon.
  5. west_rhino 23/1/08 11:59
    From Little Joe's state of the empire speech last night, he seemed ready to claim credit for the idea and appeared to be planting seeds for the Riley Fire Academy, though I'd leave teh oleander skewers for his Kool-Aid drinkers.

    Mayhaps dealings with future cabinet secretary Clyburn have a few million in pork oinking its way here for the Clyburn Coastal Academy... That ought to be housed at SC State (in which case, for travel purposes it might as well be in Columbia).

    c'est la merdivores

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