First regional police academy class in Clark County set for November


Law enforcement recruits in Southwest Washington won’t have to travel as far to get trained as the first class for a regional police academy in Clark County will start on Nov. 23.

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office announced on June 7 that the Criminal Justice Training Commission Southwest Washington Regional Basic Law Enforcement Academy will take in its first recruits later this year. The local academy is one of several funded in this year’s state capital budget, following a push in the Washington State Legislature and by Gov. Jay Inslee for more places for police to train.

In a news release, the sheriff’s office said the announcement of a start date is “excellent news for our region.”

In the past, most recruits to sheriff’s offices or police departments had to attend the sole academy in Burien, the release stated. Having to compete with other agencies statewide increased the time it took to get recruits into the program.

“The Regional Academy will also be an excellent opportunity for local law enforcement to be instructors, facilitators, and mentors at the Regional Academy, which further grows capabilities in our region,” the release stated.

The local academy will handle up to 30 students per class and will run two classes per year, according to the release. The 720-hour curriculum takes about 18 weeks to complete.

The standard curriculum at the academy ensures officers have the same basic understanding of responsibilities, standards and education, the release stated.

The sheriff’s office thanked other regional law enforcement agencies, as well as state and local elected officials who worked to make the Clark County academy a reality.

The release did not state where the academy will be located. 

Earlier this year, Clark County Sheriff John Horch told Oregon Public Broadcasting the first class would be housed in temporary facilities and noted a permanent location would be planned down the line.