Fairmont State University's new law enforcement training program began with its initial intake of cadets.

The 16-week training period will be an immersive experience, with participants living on campus at Pence Hall.

Before they can work independently at their respective police agencies in West Virginia, law enforcement officers must complete the police academy and receive their certification. Prior to FSU, there was just the State Police Academy in Institute, therefore many agencies had new recruits waiting for a seat for weeks or even months.

It is believed that the FSU academy will shorten some of that wait time while also offering additional opportunities to current students interested in a career in law enforcement.

According to Jeff McCormick, director of the academy and police chief at Fairmont State University, having the academy connected to a university has several advantages because it allows them to provide training for both students and officers from nearby departments.

According to McCormick, students will have the chance to enroll in the academy and earn their certification in addition to their overall degree, making them more marketable for jobs than those who aren't certified.

Along with becoming certified, local police officers will also earn college credits that can be used for future coursework at FSU or transferred to other institutions.

"Research has shown that police officers who have some college education generally make better decisions," McCormick said. "They’re less likely to use force and they have fewer complaints about them," reports Foxnews.

According to McCormick, the majority of days at the FSU school begin with physical exercise in the morning and end with instruction. Following dinner, there will be further academic or extracurricular activities before a required lights-out at 11:00.

Law enforcement professionals who have spent their entire careers in law enforcement serve as the academy's instructors, but they also employ college academics to teach various aspects of criminal law, prejudice awareness, and other topics in a more academic atmosphere, according to McCormick.

16 participants from 10 departments around the state are enrolled in the initial class. McCormick stated that he thinks future classes could possibly include 20–25 students now that they are seeing what they can handle.

"In the past, we have had only one option with regard to getting officers the basic training needed for certification" said Morgantown Police Chief Eric Powell. "Spots were limited, and if we hired a group of officers, we were sometimes unable to send them to a basic class, and they would be forced to wait until the next class. "So, for departments like MPD that are experiencing large staffing shortages, the time it takes to get officers trained and certified is critical in efforts to fill vacancies effectively and reach allotted staffing levels. "

Powell reported that eight new policemen were recently employed by MPD, one of whom had a certification.Four were able to attend the State Police Academy in Institute, and three are part of the inaugural FSU class.

Visit fairmontstate.edu - select the College of Liberal Arts program tab, then select the Police Academy tab to learn more about the FSU Police Training Academy.

For information on the upcoming testing opportunities, get in touch with your neighborhood police department or sheriff's office if you're interested in a career in law enforcement.

Fairmont State University's new law enforcement training program began with its initial intake of cadets. Representational Image. Fairmontsentinel

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