Gabe Garcia & Austin Remo
At Lorain County Community College, the men and women who choose a career in the police force can find exactly what they’re looking for at the LCCC Police Academy. Students are trained physically and mentally to be prepared for life as a uniformed police officer.
The academy was launched in January of 2002, with the first scheduled classes beginning that summer. Since its inaugural year, it has seen a number of students graduate and move on to careers as police officers all over Ohio.
Patty Ferritto, assistant to the academy’s Commander Paul Graupmann, said that the course offers a maximum of 20 students to enroll each semseter, and that it’s “usually full up to the 20 spots offered.”
Currently, there are 18 cadets enrolled in the academy this spring semester, with training running until June.
As far as scheduling goes, Ferritto said the classes aren’t offered on a traditional college schedule, but rather on their own separate times.
“Students are required to complete 632 hours of instructional classes,” said Commander Graupmann. “While doing that they are working through the Ohio Attorney General to pass the state certification and start looking for employment. My job is to train the next generation of law enforcement correctly to produce quality individuals that will serve the public the way it deserves to be served.”
Physical training and exercise is the main focus behind Graupmann’s course plan, who started as an instructor at the academy before he became the commander in 2010.
“Students must pass the physical training portion offered at LCCC before they are qualified to take the state-administered written exam to become a police officer”, said Ferritto.
A physical demand of the program includes two weeks of firearm training, according to Steven Lumadue, a 2010 graduate.
“We did [physical training] two times a week that consisted of a lot of running, sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups, and plenty of other variations of exercise,” said Lumadue, a current police officer in Milan, Ohio. “The physical training helped me be more confident; just the matter of staying in shape [was a big confidence booster].”
Before becoming a police officer in Milan, Lumadue spent time in Olmsted Falls and Sandusky as an officer, and credits the academy for helping him get to where he is today.
Current students like Devin Woods hope to receive the same opportunity.
“I’ve been working in the security division at Cedar Point for a few years,” said Woods. “It was there that I decided this is what I wanted to do with the rest of my life and my goal is to meet the right people so that I may secure a job in law enforcement.”
The academy is a full-time commitment, running Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.