For Lake Region State College’s Peace Officer Training program, Class #97, it’s been a semester for the record books.
Each spring, LRSC runs a peace officer training academy in Minot. When the COVID-19 situation caused many classes to move online after spring break, the academy training continued using a North Dakota Smart, COVID-19 safe protocol.
“It was important to make these future first responders available for such an essential public service. Running a COVID-19 safe academy was a challenge, but the students stepped up so we could complete the training. It was instrumental to finish the semester and provide a steady employee pool for the law enforcement community,” said Lt. John Maritato, director of LRSC’s Peace Officer Training program.
“These students endured the rigors of training plus additional restrictions and precautions in order to complete the curriculum and be employable in the law enforcement field. Students and instructors participated in consistent handwashing, personal distancing, and had their temperature taken daily”, Maritato added.
In addition, the students had to agree to restrict after hours’ social interactions to limit the chance they could become exposed to COVID-19.
Ten of the fifteen graduates have accepted positions already, Maritato said.
With instruction complete, the students will participate in a private, nonpublic, COVID-19 safe certificate granting ceremony on Wednesday April 29th.
Five of these graduates earned their Peace Officer Training certificate while studying for a bachelor’s degree at Minot State University and have taken advantage of this collaborative program. Lake Region State College and the Criminal Justice Department at Minot State University created a partnership so Criminal Justice majors at the university have the opportunity to complete the peace officer training as part of their bachelor degree plan.
Lake Region State College began training peace officers in 1987 and has graduated close to 2,000 license eligible students since that time.