Washington State Community College's Peace Officer Basic Academy Touts 100% Pass Rate and Flexible Academy Options

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MARIETTA, Ohio (July 10, 2015) –
Washington State Community College (WSCC) is pleased to announce that the WSCC Peace Officer Basic Academy recently had a 100% pass rate on the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission (OPOTC) State Certification Test for cadets passing the exam on the first attempt. Successful completion of this test allows cadets to graduate from the Peace Officer Basic Academy and become eligible to be hired by almost any law enforcement agency in the state of Ohio. Graduates can go into career positions that include: city police, campus police, alcohol investigator, state deputy marshal, or deputy sheriff.

"The OPOTC Test is very difficult and covers the 800 student performance objectives cadets cover in the academy," said John Burdette, Commander of the Peace Officer Basic Academy and Director of the Center for Public Safety Training. "It is very unusual to have an entire cadet class pass this test on the initial test and no one had to re-test. Something needs to be said about the fact that many of those students maintained full or part-time jobs during that time as well. They also have families and kids. We are very proud of them. Their pass rate was the highest of any class we've ever had go through here."

WSCC offers two flexible options for the Peace Officer Basic Academy to fit multiple lifestyles and work schedules. The evening academy runs Monday thru Friday evening and some weekends, and takes eight months to complete. The day academy runs Monday through Friday and takes three and a half months to complete. Cadets in the academy face a rigorous curriculum of over 600+ hours of instruction that includes courses like driver training, fire arms, first aid, and physical fitness. Cadets are required to adhere to a strict 100% mandatory attendance policy in the academy as well as a physical fitness test at the end of the academy. If the cadet successfully completes all of these requirements they are scheduled for the OPOTC Test and have two chances to pass the test, a test and a re-test, in order to become a certified Peace Officer in the state of Ohio.

A recent graduate from the latest cadet class, Jason Campbell, started out his career in the automotive industry and stayed in that profession for 15 years. He enjoyed his work but knew he was always lacking a sense of passion in that line of work.

"When I asked a few officers about starting a law enforcement career they highly recommended WSCC as a great academy to get my education," said Campbell. "WSCC offered an evening academy that worked out great for my situation. I was able to keep my full-time job during the day and attend classes in the evening."

Jason Campbell successfully completed all of the requirements of the academy and passed the OPOTC State Certification Test at the end of May and was recruited, and ultimately hired, by the Belpre Police Department after passing several other job related exams and tests. Now, about nine months after he started his career change, Jason Campbell is known as Officer Campbell and he couldn't be happier with his choice in professions.

"First, I would like to thank Commander Burdette and his staff of instructors for the great opportunity and education that they provided," said Officer Campbell. "I would tell anyone that is thinking about the academy that it's not like any other college class you will ever take. In no other college course offered at WSCC do you get to test the limits of your driving and shortly after go to the gun range for live fire. I went into this for a career in law enforcement but I came out with so much more. I have made lifelong friendships that I would call a family."

For students considering a career change WSCC offers open enrollment for the Peace Officer Basic Academy with a minimum of 10 students needed to start an academy. Students benefit from the small student-to-instructor ratio and all instructors are certified by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission.

"First and foremost law enforcement is an honorable profession that is meant for honorable people," said Commander Burdette. "Secondly law enforcement officers rarely get laid off, so job security is very high. A career in law enforcement is ideal for supporting families because many agencies have good benefits and decent wages."

For more information about the Peace Officer Basic Academy visit www.wscc.edu/programs-and-certificates/public-service/public-safety-academies/poba.html.

For 44 years, Washington State Community College has provided residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley the opportunity to realize dreams, to enhance skills, and to broaden understanding. Whether you are a recent high school graduate or an adult student looking to move your life in a new direction, Washington State has the classes to suit your needs. For more information about Washington State Community College, visit www.wscc.edu or call 740.374.8716.

Photo Caption: The recent class of WSCC Peace Officer Basic Academy cadets stand with Commander John Burdette. Pictured left to right are: First Row Kristen Tidd; Second Row John Germann, Jason Campbell, Jesse Whittington, and Darren Cook; Center Robert Ritchie and Mathais Brown; Third Row Jared Richards, Scott Bartlett, Justin McElroy, Dru Stephan, and Aaron Houchin; Back Row Commander John Burdette.

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