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East Texas Police Academy cadets view the presentation of a $190,000 grant check from AEP SWEPCO to the academy. Cadets like these will benefit from the funding in the form of remodeled academy classrooms and new vehicles to use for driving training at the academy’s driving track.

The East Texas Police Academy (ETPA) at Kilgore College continues to be among the most productive of the 129 law enforcement academies statewide whose numbers are reported in a recently published Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) report.

In the January 2021 TCOLE report, 100 percent of ETPA peace officer examinees passed the test on the first attempt, and 91 percent of ETPA students taking the jailer exam passed the test on their first attempt.

From 2018-20, ETPA had 349 cadets who passed the peace officer licensing exam on the first attempt, meaning ETPA — by itself — trained 2.9 percent of those statewide who passed the licensing exam on their first attempt during the period indicated.

“In the three-year period covered by this report, only a few providers in the Metroplex, Houston area and the San Antonio area trained more officers than we did here in Northeast Texas,” said Michael Ferguson, department chair/lead instructor of criminal justice. “Congratulations to Joe Cassin (ETPA director) and his entire staff for providing much-needed training that’s absolutely top-notch.”

With the jailer student data, Ferguson said the numbers are even more impressive with ETPA having 470 students passing the first time, which means the academy trained 5.9 percent of all students in the state of Texas who passed on the first attempt during the three-year period covered by the report.

“These numbers are really even more exciting when you consider that everything slowed to a snail’s pace during the initial COVID-19 lockdown,” Ferguson said. “Averaging 3 percent and 6 percent (of total trainees in the state) in a field of 129 providers is something of which we’re incredibly proud.”

For more information or to register for a course, visit www.kilgore.edu/etpa or call (903) 983-8663.

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