ANDERSON COUNTY, SC (WSPA) – Tri-County Technical College created a new Police Pre-Academy Training program, providing certificates to potential officers. Part of the reason for this program is meant to create a new career pathway aimed at addressing the industry’s current workforce shortage.
The training program does not take the place of any state requirements. It’s just a tool used to help aspiring officers get ready for law enforcement. Students must complete an eight-week training program at the S.C. Criminal Justice Academy
The Pre-Academy is a 14-week training program that can be completed at any of South Carolina’s 16 technical colleges.
Chief Tony Taylor serves Williamston, South Carolina; he’s also a member of the South Carolina training council, which sets the standard and criteria for officer training.
“It will help us in the vetting process; they’ll have some tools, some resources, something’s that they can bring to the table. Williamston Police Chief Tony Taylor said.
Aspiring officers will also have the option to get additional certificates in mental health procedures, de-escalation and even diversity.
Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw appreciates the extra training potential officers will receive.
“Also there is an incentive there I think ti increase the professionalism of our profession in that they can continue their education here or another technical college and get their associates degree.” Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw said.
Students must be 20 years old and able to pass a background check. After receiving the Tri-County certification, Students are still required to attend the state criminal justice academy.
Chris McFarlin is the Department Chair of Public Service at Tri-County Tech and also a police officer.
“Everyone knows about the law enforcement incidents we see occurring all across the country and a lot of that is tide directly to training, so we’re always looking for ways to improve our profession and improve about how we go about doing our job.” Chris McFarlin / Tri-county Technical College, Department, Chairman of Public Services said.
The costs of the classes are eligible for SE Wins scholarship money and lottery tuition assistance.
“From a training council stand point it’s a win, win for everyone,” Chief Taylor said.
Currently officer training is a 12 weeks process. The new Police Pre-Academy Training program adds an additional 14 weeks, for a total of 22 weeks of training.
Tri-County will offer a day and an evening session starting this fall with 20 students in each class.