Close friends and family watched as thirteen cadets became the first ever graduates of the Longview Police Academy during a ceremony held today at the Maude Cobb Convention Center. The academy provided basic peace officer training for eight cadets of the Longview Police Department and five cadets of the Jacksonville Police Department.
Hosting an academy was a new endeavor for the Longview Police Department. In early April, the department was informed of the postponement of local academy opportunities due to restrictions associated with COVID-19. Fortunately, the Longview Police Department holds a training academy certificate through the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE), which allowed the department to host the 19-week Basic Peace Officer course utilizing the expertise of existing employees. The department has held an academy certificate through TCOLE since the early 1980’s in order to provide on-going training to existing officers, but the department had never hosted a full academy for new recruits. With approval from the Longview City Council, the academy began April 27. Classes were conducted in keeping with CDC guidelines related to COVID-19.
Following the completion of the 19-week basic peace officer training course during the academy, the cadets were required to pass a state licensing exam. The Longview cadets will be commissioned as officers by Police Chief Mike Bishop next week and will begin their 17-week field training program shortly thereafter.
“This was a unique situation in which we could utilize our in-house resources to provide direct training for incoming officers. We were very pleased to have the knowledgeable and dedicated instructors within our agency who dedicated the time and effort on such a short notice to make this academy a success, especially Sgt. Shaun Pendleton who coordinated the effort,” Bishop said. “I am also thankful to colleagues from throughout the state who provided their assistance, guidance, and expertise. I also want to thank Longview ISD and Pine Tree ISD for partnering with us to provide training locations.”
The special academy was made possible in part thanks to reimbursable funding of $1,000 per cadet provided by the East Texas Council of Governments to help defray costs associated with teaching the academy.
The second class of the Longview Police Academy is scheduled to begin in October. Individuals interested in serving the community as a part of the Longview Police Department are encouraged to apply at LongviewTexas.gov/LPDJobs.
Graduating Cadets from Longview Police Department:
- Sharissa Bennett, Class President
- Fernando Esquivel
- Noah Hood
- Dylan Kennedy
- Dan Lair III
- Dylan Moore
- Tristan Sloan, Valedictorian
- Shaquille Warren
Graduating Cadets from Jacksonville Police Department:
- Kenneth Baker
- David Berryman
- Joshlune Jackson
- Justin Phillips
- Tony Smith