Employment outlook "on the upswing" for police academy grads

May 21, 2014 6:22 PM

Now might good time for those wanting to work as cops.

At the Butte College Law Enforcement Academy, more than half of the remaining recruits already have jobs lined up--before they even graduate.

“The profession of law enforcement is on the upswing,” said Butte College Law Enforcement Academy trainer Jose Lara. “A lot of people are coming back from the military and wanting to get into this profession.”

After graduating from this academy, recruit Casey Yee is going back to his hometown of Stockton to work for the local police department. And in an area known for excessive criminal activity, Yee knows he has his work cut out.

“Everybody’s nervous. I’m sure everybody’s scared to get into their first altercation or gun fight,” he said. “You just have to rely on whatever the training that you had before that and just hope that your training is better than his.”

During Wednesday's training session, recruits sharpened their skills during a skid pan exercise designed to simulate stressful driving conditions. But being a good cop takes more than just good driving skills. This six-month academy started off with 52 recruits and with three weeks until graduation, they're down to 29.

“Some people can’t put all the pieces of the puzzle together,” Yee said. “They might be in shape. They might be able to shoot. They might be able to drive. They might be able to do one of those things but taking all those pieces of the pie to make that total officer is challenging.”

And the news for prospective police officers just keeps getting better: the incoming class of the Butte College Law Enforcement Academy already has 20 recruits sponsored by police departments.


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