Enid Police Department has embarked on a new era of training.

EPD was approved in April by the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training to host its own police academies in Enid, rather than sending new officers to complete the state-required, months-long CLEET training in Ada.

The first academy, with seven students, is about a month into training, having started Nov. 17. The state-required portion of police academy training is 14 and a half weeks long, with an added six or seven weeks instruction on top of that about EPD’s geography, policies and procedures.

After passing the police academy and after they are certified, officers have to go through field training phases at EPD for about four and a half months, which helps them learn while on the job.

Local attorneys Daylen McVay and Jeff Crites, along with assistant city attorney Michael Antkowiak, volunteered to instruct the first couple of weeks regarding the legal sides of the law, including laws of arrest, search warrants and the juvenile code.

Also, around 20 EPD officers specialize in the subjects required in training, which is another reason why EPD applied for CLEET approval.

The long-term goal for EPD is to be able to offer the basic police academy to officers from around the area, but that would require approval from CLEET, which the department has sought.

Construction could begin soon on a new EPD training center at 400 W. State, where the skate park is currently located. The new facility will feature a virtual shooting simulation system that offers a 360-degree design to immerse officers into a reality-based scenario that can’t be duplicated in the gun range.

The simulator gives officers real-life situations in which they have to make decisions based on the scenario they’re in, like they’ll have to do while out on the job.

It’s exciting to see the new training opportunities going on now at EPD, and what will becoming in the future with the new training center.

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