This archived article was written by: Morgan Verdi
After years of planning, the POST academy started the first week of classes. Eight students enrolled in the class, though they were hoping to get 12 to 15 in the inaugural program. Professor Scott Henrie, director for the POST academy said, “We had four people drop out in the last two to three weeks for different personal reasons, so it put us to a small number, but eight is about the minimum number we want to have.”
Approximately 26 instructors are a part of the program. Henrie said, “Most are police officers from around our area. We have two coming from Moab, and couple coming from Emery, but the majority is from right here in the Carbon County.
We have quite a selection of officers that are trained in specific things that have all applied and are coming here to teach. There will also be a few attorneys that will be teaching the law part of the program.”
The majority of the students are from the Carbon and Emery area, with the exception of one student who is from the Salt Lake area.
The POST academy teaches many different things. Henrie said, “In the POST program you learn things that are similar to what you learn in criminal justice classes. We start with many of the same things but then they are expanded on. There are many things we don’t teach the students in the criminal justice program because it’s specific to police officers, things like how to handle different situations and more in depth information on things, so it’s that hands on training of how to be a police officer or a corrections officer.”
Bringing the POST program to Price took quite a while. Henrie said, “Initially POST personnel approached us about four or five years ago when the oil boom hit in the Vernal area. There was a satellite program over there that was ran by a private company and it wasn’t associated with any institution so the students that went there didn’t get any kind of college credit whatsoever. It was just a certification that they could get and then go to work, so POST personnel approached us and asked us about starting something here. At the time we weren’t able to do it, so it’s been on my mind since then and since we were looking to try to expand students and numbers we took the possibilities and put them together and it seems like it’s going to be a great thing for the college and for the community.”
Henrie is excited for the POST program and what it will accomplish. He said, “This program is going to help individuals who have that desire and dream to get into law enforcement but don’t have the ability to quit their jobs and hope they can get on somewhere.
There are two ways to go through the program, we are a satellite academy so we train self-sponsored cadets. In other words, individuals who are putting themselves through training, but come spring there will be a few individuals who are already working for departments that will take our law enforcement block.
Generally you apply, you get a job with an agency and then they send you to POST. The main POST is in Salt Lake, so you go for free and they are pay for you. Unfortunately those kind of jobs are getting really hard to find because there are so many applicants. By going through the program first and getting your certification, it puts you at the top to get a job. Having this program is giving people who previously didn’t have that opportunity to get that certification and get a job in that field.”