Posted by: June Bayha | March 1, 2012

Law Enforcement Summer Camp Academy

Ever wonder what skills are needed to be a law enforcement officer? I hadn’t thought about this until my site visit to observe the First Annual Law Enforcement Summer Camp Academy hosted by Woodland Community College in partnership with Yolo County Office of Education and Yolo County Regional Occupational Program (ROP).

Students preparing to climb over one of the walls on the agility course.

Leaders of the Workforce Innovation Partnership grant (funded by the Career Technical Education Pathways Initiative – SB70) asked their local advisory comprised of local sheriff, California Highway Patrol, District Attorney, among others what skills new recruits need to demonstrate in order to be accepted and graduate from the various law enforcement academies. The top three skills the advisory named were: 1) physical agility; 2) succinct writing; and 3) personal ethics.

Armed with Workforce Innovation Partnership (WIP) funding awarded in May 2011, Woodland Community College administration of justice instructor, Leslie Deniz, and WIP project director, Lori Perez, designed a six-week law enforcement summer academy for local high school students.

To begin, they needed an obstacle course for students to learn physical agility skills like jumping over a wall and doing pull-ups. The WIP project director contracted with Winters High School ROP AG Construction to design and build the obstacle course on the Woodland Community College campus. The course was installed and POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training) certified, establishing that it met the criteria used to test actual police academy candidates. Now that the obstacle course is complete, Dr. Angela Fairchilds, President of Woodland Community College, is committed to continue this summer program.

Law Enforcement Summer Academy students group receiving instructions from their professors.

A total of 68 students completed the six-week summer camp out of 73 who started the academy. Besides developing physical agility, students learn how about succinct report writing and about the importance of personal ethics.

Vanessa, a high school senior, shared, “It’s a great experience. I expected it to be police-related and it really was. The physical part I think is the best part. You do a lot of physical activity and learn to work as a team…I definitely have more of an idea about careers in law enforcement.”

Mohammad, another high school senior, said, “I found the police academy a great way to stay in shape. You learn a lot about health and law enforcement. I think it is a pretty good program. I learned some new stuff like hopping the fences.”

For more information on this program, please contact Lori Perez at or at (530) 668-3776.

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