New Police Academy Building (Press Release)

by Public Information Officer, Thursday, October 11, 2012, 02:00 (2321 days ago)

ABILENE, TX – The newly constructed Abilene Police Department Academy building, located at 4557 E. Lake Road, was showcased during an open house this afternoon. The new building replaces an older and smaller building that was originally built in 1982. The new building has 5,870 square feet with two classrooms. It features a main classroom with space to accommodate 55 students. In comparison, the old building is less than 4,000 square feet with classrooms that only accommodated 34 students. The new facility has been equipped with modern conveniences and equipment that provide a state-of-the-art learning environment. The old building will continue to be used for overflow training and provide a facility for the Department’s use of force simulator.

The Police Academy has a rich history dating back to 1962 where it all started with 12 cadets in the first of many future police academies. Since that time, nearly 600 cadets have earned the honor of becoming an Abilene Police Officer. The state licensing commission for Texas Peace Officers, known as TCLEOSE (Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education), did not officially recognize police academies until 1968. Abilene’s academy was one of the first nine approved on May 2, 1968, joining Dallas, Texas DPS, Amarillo, TEEX, Victoria, Rio Grande Valley, Southwest Academy, and Forth Worth.

There were many milestones reached during what has now been fifty years of graduating classes. In 1964, class #3 had the distinction of including the Academy’s first African American graduates, Otis McLin and Leon Petty. In 1977, class #20 saw the Academy’s first two female officers, Shelly Turner and Jennifer Andrews. In 2009, the first lateral academy was conducted and included four lateral officers from four different police departments. The latest academy class, the 50th, saw 20 police cadets graduate on July 27th.

Funding for construction and equipment came from various sources as follows: certificate of obligations— $678,441; federal grant (U.S. Dept. of Justice)—$239,028; and general fund—$3,631.

Our desire to remain an exceptional and professional police department is directly impacted by the training regimen that each of our officers receive before becoming a certified peace officer. Each new cadet receives over 1,000 hours of academy training prior to their graduation. Our standards set at the Academy will remain high and are crucial to educating and molding the future officers serving the City of Abilene.

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