Initial, continued training keep deputies sharp

·2 min read

Jun. 11—The Cherokee County Sheriff's Office is on track with gaining over 400 hours of continuing education training.

The Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) is a government law enforcement agency that provides education and training to state, county, and city agencies. The mission is to train, develop, and produce the finest law enforcement officers for the state.

Cadets complete 14.5 weeks of intensive on-site training and have from six months their date of hire to start basic CLEET Academy, which consists of 576 hours.

Officers participate in at least 30 minutes of mandatory physical training each day. The purpose is to mitigate instances of injury during the Defensive Tactics/Custody and Control portion of the training.

Cadets are required to score a minimum of 70 percent on a reading, writing, and comprehensive examination on the Oklahoma Basic Peace Officer Certification Examination.

Cherokee County Sheriff Jason Chennault said they are on track this year with having more training hours than they've had before.

"We've already got 400 CLEET continuing education training hours combined from all of our deputies and since then, [Undersheriff] James Brown has been to a two-week school and we have two or three going in October to a three-week school," said Chennault.

As part of continuing education, an officer must receive at least 25 hours of CLEET-approved training each year — two of which must include mental health training.

"It's something we've started in the last couple of years and we've been real fortunate to let that many people go to that much training," Chennault said. "We've got more manpower than we've ever had."

Sgt. Brad Baker, Ryan Robison, and Deputy Pete Broderick graduated from CLEET's 40-hour Basic Instructor Academy in March.

"With the graduation of these three deputies from the Basic Instructor Academy, CCSO now has eight certified law enforcement instructors on staff," said Chennault. "With eight instructors on staff and our training facility on the grounds of the Cherokee County Detention Center in Tahlequah — the Norman Fisher Training Center — we are able to host a wide variety of law enforcement training."

CCSO currently has two deputies attending CLEET: Ryan Patton and Caleb Rice.

"They began in May and Patton is in the eight-week bridge school and Rice in the full-academy," said Chennault.

Reserve officers attend the "bridge" academy to become full-time officers. The bridge academy is six weeks shorter than the basic academy.

Chennault said five investigators were sent to New Mexico in April where they became certified in explosive investigations.

"Two weeks from now, I'll be in Phoenix for a week for training. It's the National Sheriff's Association and it's geared for administrators," said Chennault.