Police Academy returns to Spokane after seven year absence

Police Academy returns to Spokane after seven year absence

For the past seven years, every officer-to-be in the state of Washington traveled to Burien for training, but today, cadets started classes in Spokane.

In 2008, with the declining economy, came lay-offs and fewer hires. One Basic Law Enforcement Academy seemed to be enough, but Tuesday that all changed.

Officials gathered to announce the Basic Law Enforcement Academy is back in Spokane. Something Sheriff’s Ozzie Knezovich said is a huge milestone.

“The economy must be getting better because we are starting to hire officers rather than lay them off,” Sheriff Knezovich said.

The first class of law enforcement hopefuls started on Tuesday. Spokane police officers and deputies will assist in training students from 18 different police departments from around the state. Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission’s Executive Director, Sue Rahr, said she is happy to see the Academy back in Spokane.

“5 months from now we are going to turn out the most effective dedicated guardians to protect your community,” Rahr said.

A culture of guardians instead of culture of warriors. A new training model adapted just a few years ago by WSCJTC, gaining national attention.

“We are not warriors, we are not at war with our communities,” Rahr said.

Officials agreed that a time when police officers across the country are being questioned, officers and deputies in Spokane are able to teach newcomers a different approach to policing. As Spokane Police

Chief Frank Straub said, one that includes, strong law enforcement, coupled with community building.

“You have to be able to think not about what do I do in response to crime, but how do I prevent crime,” Chief Straub said.