On May 3, 1999, the Division of Probation and Parole hosted its first Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) Academy. Under the leadership of Academy Director Bill Corkern and Assistant Director David Miller, P&P Academy staff dedicated many hours to the training and personal attention of our officers and graduated 34 from their very first class. Since that time, the division has conducted 34 successful academy classes, graduating approximately 873 "seasoned" and new officers.
The task of the Probation and Parole Officers is not only to protect society by enforcing the laws and keeping peace, as well as enforcing the conditions of probation and/or parole, but also to assist the probationer/parolee in the reintegration back into society through the collaborative efforts of our community partners. The Department's correctional facilities work together with community corrections, providing the offenders with the services and skills needed to become a productive citizen. Our Academy trains our officers to be proactive in the reintegration process.
Today’s Probation and Parole Officer is called upon to deal not only with crime, but with virtually all community challenges, including drug abuse, domestic violence issues, poverty, and homelessness. Probation and Parole officers must demonstrate not only courage and physical skills, but must also possess a solid working knowledge of state and local law and community resources available to assist these returning citizens. They must know basics of medicine and psychology to provide emergency assistance. On numerous occasions our officers are called upon to assist their local law enforcement partners during warrant round ups and other raids, as well as special task forces such as the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force and BRAVE. It is through the training they receive at the P.O.S.T. Academy and the local district office that they are prepared and equipped with the knowledge they need to perform virtually any task.
While in the Academy, trainees are required to complete approximately 480 hours of Peace Officer training. They must complete a specific number of hours in each of the following fields: Orientation to Criminal Justice, Legal Aspects, First Aid & CPR, Firearms, Investigations, Report Writing, Traffic Services, Patrol Activities, Specialized Activities, Officer Survival, Becoming a Professional Peace Officer, Active Shooter and electives of our choice. Trainees will also participate in 80 hours of firearms training and must shoot a qualifying score on the P.O.S.T. firearms course in order to continue in the academy. They are then sent through 40 hours of training on Pressure Point Control Tactics (PPCT). Again, they must pass a written exam and show proficiency in the techniques to proceed. The trainees must participate in a physical fitness program daily which consists of aerobic and anaerobic exercises. At the end of the 11th week, the trainees must pass cumulative P.O.S.T. test administered by the P.O.S.T. council in order to graduate and be sworn in as Probation and Parole Officers. Upon graduation, trainees return for an additional 40 hours of training in Probation and Parole topics such as: Investigations, Preliminary Hearings, Supervision, and our computer databases to name just a few.
Through the continued support of Director Curtis "Pete" Fremin and Deputy Directors Gerald Starks and Bobby Jamie Lee, the Academy continues to make improvements in training. In 2008, the Division once again introduced Physical Standards. The trainees are required to pass an initial physical fitness test and score at least 20% overall in the three exercises performed to be accepted into the academy. Prior to completing the Academy, they must pass a final fitness assessment scoring at least 30% overall in the three areas in order to graduate.
The Probation and Parole P.O.S.T. Academy would not be as successful as it is without the support of its many instructors both within our agency and those who so graciously give of their time who are outside of our department. We have some of the best firearms, defensive tactics and classroom instructors any Department could ask for. Many of these instructors carry a full investigative and working caseload, yet still find time to train their new co-workers.