|The current class of cadets poses for a photo|
OU-C’s Southern Ohio Police Training Institute (SOPTI) Peace Officer Basic Training Course’s commitment to offering a focused, quality educational experience is paying dividends. The last two classes of academy graduates attained a 100 percent pass rate on the test for certification as Ohio Peace Officers.
The peerless pass rate is a testament to the academy’s ability to provide practical instruction with an emphasis on professionalism.
“We pride ourselves on being structured and disciplined,” Commander Christopher Jones said. “Beyond learning the basics, our cadets learn how to do their jobs with a high level of
“Cadets are also required to wear SOPTI uniforms and bullet-proof vests since that will be required when they are on the job.”
The last two classes each included 14 students. The program lasts six months and includes 600 hours of instruction.
The academy’s instructors have the knowledge and insights to prepare the cadets for challenging careers in law enforcement.
“All of our instructors work full-time in the area in which they are teaching,” Jones said. “Consequently, the teaching is especially relevant.”
The academy’s effectiveness is drawing attention, helping with recruiting efforts.
“Our reputation is spreading in the law enforcement community largely through word of mouth,” Jones said. “People see that we are doing the right things and going beyond the minimum standards. SOPTI is probably the number one academy of its kind, in which most of its candidates hold full-time jobs, in the region.”
Current cadets were drawn by SOPTI’s well-earned acclaim.
“The pass rate, of course, attracted me to the program,’ said current cadet Vincent Antinore of the Highland County Sheriff’s Department. “It is known for having world-class instruction and dedication to excellence as well as preparing officers to protect the lives and property of individuals in the community.”
Cadet Howard Skeens of Chillicothe said, “I could not ask for better training. We are receiving excellent instruction with lots of hands-on training that we will use in our jobs on a daily basis.”
The academy program is open for two types of students: (1) those associated with or employed by a qualifying law enforcement agency and (2) open enrollment students, who are not currently associated with a law enforcement agency but seek careers as peace officers.
SOPTI serves as an important community resource in ensuring that individuals who work for area agencies have the best training and, therefore, are qualified to provide the highest level of service to area communities.