The Grand Junction Police Department welcomed seven new officers yesterday. The new officers recently graduated from the Western Colorado Community College POST Academy.

Okay, you're probably saying, "Hey, I see 14 people in that photo. You said they just hired seven." You are correct. Seven of those pictured are the new officers, and the remaining seven are existing officers welcoming them to the GJPD.

Are you familiar with the programs at WCCC? I certainly wasn't. After hearing the news about the new officers, I couldn't help but be curious.

According to Coloradomesa.edu, "The Western Colorado Peace Officers Academy (WCPOA) is a State of Colorado Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certified academy." The website adds, "The academy prepares students to pass all of the required state examinations to become a certified Colorado peace officer. This certification allows the graduate to work for a law enforcement agency anywhere in the state of Colorado."

What are the requirements when enrolling in the WCPOA? Candidates must be at least 21 years of age. They must also complete a challenging, one-semester program. Upon completion of the program, students receive 31 college credits which can be combined with other credits at CMU and applied towards an Associate of Applied Science degree in Criminal Justice or a Bachelor of Applied Science in Criminal Justice.

So, what's the scoop with the program? Why pursue training at CMU? The university's official website states the following reasons why prospects should consider this program:

  • Graduates are certified Colorado peace officers eligible for hire anywhere in Colorado after passing the POST exam
  • Only academy in Colorado that articulates to an AAS degree in criminal justice, Bachelor of Applied Science in Criminal Justice and Bachelor of Applied Science in Interdisciplinary Studies.
  • Exceeds the requirements set by Colorado Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST)

No doubt you'll agree this looks intriguing. I've always had an interest in law enforcement careers, but at my age (49) and my "Doughnut Friday" physique, it's doubtful I'd be a candidate.

Spread the word about this program. From time to time we post about job opportunities in Western Colorado. Every time we post, it seems there are always careers available with the GJPD, MCSO, or the various other agencies.

Congratulations to all of the new officers. Please be safe, and thank you for your service to our community.

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