Students in the Wood County Sheriff's Academy will be receiving college
credit for their criminal justice training through an agreement among the
sheriff's office, Owens Community College and the Buckeye State Sheriffs'
"By pooling our resources with Owens Community College, the training for our students is convenient and cost effective - and it helps them further their education," Wood County Sheriff John Kohl said.
This is the first official training agreement between a county sheriff's office and community college in Ohio. The agreement was made through the College's Center for Development and Training (CDT), which manages daytime and evening peace officer academies on campus.
"This agreement allows students to get started on an associate's degree in Law Enforcement Technology," said Bill Deffenbaugh, executive director of economic and workforce development at CDT.
There are 13 sworn officers currently in the sheriff's academy, learning criminal law, investigation, patrol operations, defensive tactics, human relations, firearms handling and more. By completing the sheriff's academy, each student will receive 22 hours of college credit.
Owens Community College President Daniel H. Brown said this agreement is another example of the many partnerships the College has established with area businesses and industries to prepare students to enter the workforce.
"Owens Community College remains committed to meeting the training and educational needs of our community," Brown said. "These partnerships assist employers in finding high-quality employees and help students reach their academic and career goals."
The Wood County Sheriff's Academy is run in conjunction with the Buckeye State Sheriffs' Association, which mandates that each student receive a minimum of 445 hours of training before being commissioned.
"This is the first agreement in Ohio that links a sheriff's academy with a college," said Robert Cornwell, executive director of the Buckeye State Sheriffs' Association. "We are very pleased that these students will receive high-quality training through this partnership with Owens Community College - and earn college credit while keeping up-to-date on the latest in law enforcement education."
Sheriff Kohl said training for deputies is somewhat different than for city police officers and therefore the sheriff's academy differs from the regular peace officer academy run through the College's Center for Development and Training.
"Our deputies are out there patrolling by themselves and primarily serve rural areas and small villages," the sheriff explained. "The needs and problems are quite different from a metropolitan area."
Deputies also work in the county jail, transport prisoners, provide court security and serve documents for the county common pleas courts, Kohl said.