With the fall semester returning soon, Weber State University’s Police Academy is also starting up in full swing. Unlike the rest of the student body, their classes will begin on Aug. 8.
“We don’t work on a semester system. The Academies go throughout the year,” Director of Law Enforcement Academy Jack Rickards said.
The program consists of two different types of schooling: a daytime class for full-time cadets where they attend classes for eleven hours a day and the nighttime class for part-time students who attend the class for an additional month. This year’s cadets were hired to their positions before they even graduated.
“Law enforcement is a noble career,” said Rickards. “Although there are discussions that we need to have regarding issues that are going on in our country with law enforcement, you can change people’s lives. You can make life better for people. That’s what public services is about, is making lives better. People’s lives better.”
The Academy is located just next to Weber State University’s Davis Campus, at the Center for Continuing Education.
“We call it the Law Enforcement Academy,” said Rickards. “With that title, we give them more opportunities to market themselves.”
There are three certifications that the cadets must complete to graduate. The Special Functions Officer (SFO), The Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) and a Basic Correctional Officer (BCO). The Academy gives eighteen credit hours for attending, and it waves the requirement of a minor for Criminal Justice Degrees.
To become a part of the Academy, students must complete the NPOST test (National Police Officer Selection Test) through a testing center located on either the Davis or Ogden campus. Students must be 21 years of age, and they need to register online at weber.edu/policeacademy.
“Providing [cadets] with an opportunity to get into a career where they can make a difference in people’s lives,” Rickards said, stating what he enjoys most about being an academy instructor. “I just feel like we will always need the police, even though we have these issues going on.”
The Police Academy’s website says, “In as little as five months, Weber State’s Law Enforcement Academy can prepare you for a lifelong career in law enforcement. The training is structured to provide perspective, knowledge and training in this dynamic field.” The website holds information about what to expect from the class, the steps on applying and information about the tuition and fees of the class.
If any students are interested in joining the academy, they can contact the academy via phone at (801) 395-3410. Although the class is starting up within the next couple of weeks, the academy wanted to let students know that if they are serious about joining, to contact them at this number and they should be able to work it out.
“First, call us,” Rickard says if a student is interested in signing up. “We’d love to talk more in depth. It’s so great to watch a shy individual and see what they become when they leave. They’ve got a purpose, and they know what they want. It’s fun to watch them develop.”