The Clark County Sheriff’s Office, like many agencies across Washington, is experiencing challenges with recruitment and retention of deputies
VANCOUVER – The Clark County Council last week approved a resolution that supports a Criminal Justice Training Commission expansion to add a regional law enforcement training center in Clark County.
The Clark County Sheriff’s Office, like many agencies across Washington, is experiencing challenges with recruitment and retention of deputies due to many factors including an increase in retirements, resignations and a decrease in applications for new hires.
Currently, all new deputies and police officers around the state must attend Basic Law Enforcement Academy training at the State’s Criminal Justice Training Commission near Seattle. Because there is only one location for training, the waitlist to attend the academy is historically long which delays the applicant’s ability to begin their new position. The sole location also means law enforcement recruits commit to a five-month commitment away from home, which is a substantial challenge for many applicants.
“Everyone I’ve talked to about this sees this as a win/win for the community and for law enforcement,” said Gary Medvigy, councilor for District Three. “We need a local academy.”
“This is long overdue,” said Julie Olson, councilor for District Two. “In addition to convenience, the capacity is the issue here. This is a critical opportunity for the state to get these local facilities placed and operational.”
Council Chair Karen Dill Bowerman added, “This will be a wonderful step forward. Let’s hope it becomes a reality soon.”
The council sent the resolution to Governor Inslee and Senator John Lovick along with a letter supporting establishing a regional academy in Southwest Washington. Inslee and Lovick earlier this year announced plans to pursue legislation to create regional police academies across Washington in an effort to increase training capacity.
The resolution and staff report are on the county’s website at https://clark.wa.gov/sites/default/files/media/document/2022-10/2022-10-10.pdf.
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