In less than six months, officials with the Wichita Falls Police Department hope to fulfill the department’s need for man power with a new recruiting class.
“It’s the biggest academy we’ve had in probably…. I would say six to eight years,” Police Academy Coordinator, Joey Anderson, said. “Most of them typically run anywhere from eight to about 12, so we’ve got a pretty large class right now.”
Mother of three, Cindy Casillas and veteran, Mike Copeland, are two of the 18 this who started a 26 week program at the Wichita Falls Training Center.
“Well, I think about the society that my kids are going to have to live in and I think I want that to be a better place for my kids…. to still have the respect for the law officers and have the morals that I have,” Casillas said.
“I have dreamed of this moment for…. ever since I was a little kid,” Copeland said. “You know, I can still remember the first time that I thought I want to be a police officer. You know, playing cops and robbers with my friends in the backyard…. You know, it’s just something I’ve always wanted to do.”
These recruits are working on ethics training, then they will move on to more more hands-on experiences, including shadowing another officer in the field
“It’s still pretty early,” Training Officer Anderson said. “Yesterday was our first day of class. And so we’re still kind of in the infancy stages in the academy, but we keep telling the recruits if they’ll just trust us and go with the method and buy into the program…. that we’ll be teaching…. They’ll be fine.”
Training Officer Anderson said this class is full of candidates who are motivated to become officers for the right reasons.
“I want to take a stand and I want to represent my community and I wanna serve and so it’s hard to find those folks and when you do, you know we have the right person,” Training Officer Anderson said.
The police department said not every recruit always gets through the academy. They sometimes loose a few in the classes, but they are confident in this group.