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Graduation coming for latest class of Southern Ohio Police Training Institute cadets

A graduation ceremony will be held for Academy Class BAS 13-022 from Ohio University-Chillicothe’s Southern Ohio Police Training Institute (SOPTI) Academy at 2:30 p.m. on June 23 in the Bennett Hall auditorium. Approximately 20 cadets will be participating. 

Following the graduation ceremony, a dinner for invited guests will be held in the Stevenson Center Learning Commons. Among speakers will be OU-C Dean Martin Tuck, Associate Dean James McKean, Ross County Sheriff George W. Lavender Jr., Chillicothe Police Chief Roger Moore and Ohio Investigative Unit Executive Director Robert W. Booker Jr.

Once cadets complete the six-month, 600-hour program, they are eligible to take the test for certification as Ohio Peace Officers. Christopher Jones is commander of the academy.

The academy 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 quality of service to area communities.

The academy program is open for two types of students including those associated with or employed by a qualifying law enforcement agency and open enrollment students, who are not currently associated with a law enforcement agency, but have career goals to seek employment as peace officers.  

Beyond being prepared to take the test for accreditation as an Ohio Peace Officer, graduates can receive up to 17 semester hours of college credit towards an Associate Degree in Law Enforcement Technology at Ohio University.

The program includes classroom instruction and training outside of the classroom in areas such as knowledge of the Ohio Revised Code and other legal aspects, firearms, driving, traffic stops, investigations, Homeland Security and physical conditioning.

A unique aspect of the academy is the quality and relevance of the instruction.

“Our instructors have all proven themselves in the field and most are currently in the law enforcement field, practicing the latest techniques, so they are able to share insights that are of particular value,” Jones said. “Our faculty members come from all walks of the legal profession, such as the BCI, State Patrol, local law enforcement agencies and the prosecutor’s office.”