Delta College’s POST Academy prepares cadets for law careers

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On Sept. 14, inside the crowded Atherton Auditorium on the grounds of San Joaquin Delta College, 56 members of Delta College’s Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) program graduated from the nine-month program. The program is designed to train cadets for the responsibilities that come with being a peace officer.

Throughout the program, academy members endure rigorous testing and training.

Cadets must not only be able to prove they are mentally prepared to become a peace officer — but must also show physical strength and endurance as well.

Physical challenges also include exercises with pepper spray.

Recent program grad and now Tuolumne County Sheriff Bryan Fox said most cadets felt the running and wall climbing was the most difficult physical activity.

Along with the physical testing, the academic testing is very important as well.

“Cadets who score lower than 80 percent on a written exam are dismissed from the program,” said POST Academy Coordinator Bruce Able. “There is a statewide requirement that states that cadets must score at least 80 percent in order to remain in the program.”

David Main, Director of Police Services and Public Safety, said  cadets can be dropped from the program for various reasons, including failing a driving test or written exam.

Main also said that cadets are offered a remediation exam but if the cadet fails “he or she will be dismissed from the program,”

Able also said one of the more difficult portions of the written testing is report writing.

Fox found the time management required especially hard to maintain alongside a regular job.

Throughout the nine-month program, members meet five days a week, and spend a total of 913 hours training and studying to become a peace officer.

Many students drop from the program due to the intense required hours.

“The time commitment involved is tremendous both physically and mentally,” said Main.

Upon completion of the academy, cadets are able to start working as officers, deputies and sheriffs throughout cities in California.

At the graduation ceremony it was announced that Stockton, Modesto, Lodi, Tuolumne County and the San Joaquin County Sheriffs had hired 19 cadets including Fox.

Able said 30 percent of cadets are hired after graduation.

If a cadet is not hired within three years of graduation, the cadet must re-enter the academy if he still wish to pursue a peace officer career.

“Just because someone wants to become a peace officer, it doesn’t mean they can do it,” Able said. “The biggest thing about being a peace officer is that you have to be there to serve others not yourself.”