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New Course Targets Law Enforcement Academy

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At a recent community forum held by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department at the Wind of the Spirit Church, Nadia Soto described a new program available to area residents interested in careers in law enforcement. The Wellness Program, an introduction to law enforcement and physical conditioning for basic academy students, is designed as a preparatory course in collaboration with Riverside Community College.

The forum, led by Corporal Roosevelt Logan of the department’s recruitment office, is o­ne of a series of community forums held at local churches to inform Inland Empire residents of the possible employment opportunities available to them. It is also an opportunity to discuss public safety concerns and community involvement opportunities.

Soto, an instructor in the program along with Mike Canizales, sees the course as vital to preparation for the strenuous physical agility test facing law enforcement academy recruits. The course lasts eight weeks and is designed to familiarize students with different law enforcement agencies and prepare them for the basic academy.

While the course is designed to mentally and physically prepare individuals for the academy, it also covers test taking strategies for the written exam and highlights guest speakers from different agencies. “Most people attend the course for the agility portion of the academy,” Soto explained.

 “To enter the academy recruits have to run a mile and a half in twelve to fourteen minutes,” she said. The course also requires participants to practice push-ups and sit-ups preparing them for the 165 pound dummy drag and the six foot wall climbing requirements of the academy.

“We have a chain link fence o­n o­ne side and solid fence o­n the other side. To enter the academy, individuals must climb the chain link fence in 10.7 seconds and the solid fence in 13 seconds and then run another 25 yards,” Soto explained. This simulates the obstacles a deputy may encounter while chasing a suspect and is required for academy entrance.

The newly designed course costs $36 for eight weeks and offers o­ne RCC credit unit. There is a waiting list for the next session beginning in June, but the September session enrollment is open.

The course meets and trains at the Ben Clark Training Center and meets Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings from 6 pm – 8 pm.

For more information contact Nadia Soto at (951) 486-3363.

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