On Wednesday, August 15, 2012, recruits became graduates,
dreams will became a reality and citizens throughout Arizona will be a little
bit safer. The day marked the end of more than 800 hours of Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) Law
Enforcement Training Academy (LETA) study.
The journey to
graduation began a little over 10 months ago at CGCC’s Williams Campus.
Recruits, as students are called until they graduate, completed 44 hours
of criminal law, 77 hours of firearms instruction, 52 hours of defensive
tactics, 86 hours of physical conditioning, 35 hours of report writing, and 24
hours of first aid courses. In addition, recruits ran more than 200 miles, and
performed hundreds of pushups, sit-ups, pull-ups and other various exercises.
Add to that, more than 1,400 rounds of ammunition shot during their firearms
training, which included handguns, shotguns and rifles.
“CGCC’s Law Enforcement Training
Academy is a tough program. From start to finish we typically lose about
58 percent of our recruits,” said Jon
Terpay, director of CGCC’s Law Enforcement Training Academy and a 37-year law
enforcement veteran. “The goal of becoming a certified law enforcement officer
isn’t for everyone. However, for those who complete our program the reward is
great and the opportunity to serve and give back to the community is
Chandler-Gilbert Community College’s LETA
is offered on the college’s Williams Campus and is one of 17 Arizona police
training academies. The Academy is designed to provide police academy training
that meets or exceeds the requirements of the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board
(AZPOST) and to produce certified peace officers. In addition, it
provides 30 college academic credit hours in Administration of Justice Studies,
which may be applied toward an AJS
certificate or degree. CGCC’s LETA program is unique in that
students attend part-time and can remain employed while participating.
“Our students include people who want to
serve the community, which includes everyone from students in their twenties to
those currently employed fulltime, as well as those with families who are
seeking a good career with benefits,” said Terpay. “Ninety percent of our
graduates will find jobs in the Valley.”
The LETA program
offers a schedule friendly to those currently employed in other fields.
Recruits attend classes on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and all-day on
Saturdays. The instructors, highly qualified law enforcement personnel from
various law enforcement agencies throughout the Valley, discuss a wide range of
topics and administer proficiency tests in those subjects. By the time
recruit’s walk across the stage at graduation, they have passed 65 academic
tests and a number of proficiency tests. Those tests include firearms, defensive
tactics, baton, high-risk stops, field problems, crime-scene management, report
writing, tactical driving and physical fitness.
“The LETA program
was impressive, intense and an incredible experience that gave me the tools I needed
to be successful in law enforcement,” said Arielle Cohen, a recent graduate now
work with the Maricopa Police Department. “The instructors at LETA played such
a huge role in the academy experience. Seeing the pride they have for their job
and the passion they still have after more than 25 years of service makes you
want to become an officer that much more.”
session of the CGCC Law Enforcement Academy begins January 2, 2013. Individuals are encouraged to apply early,
as they will be required to undergo a lengthy and intensive admissions process
prior to registration. Students interested in admissions are encouraged to
contact Terpay at (480) 988-8756 or via email at email@example.com.