EDMOND — Six new cadets started the 19-week journey through Edmond Police Department's third academy with opening ceremonies Monday.
The six cadets were chosen from among 200 applicants.
The class includes the first woman to be enrolled since Edmond started its own basic police training academy in 2009. The department has six other women officers — two captains, two detectives and two officers.
The woman cadet is Torrey Rowe, 26, a former Oklahoma County sheriff's detention officer.
Edmond police decided to start their own academy because they wanted to train their new officers to what they call the “Edmond standard.”
“We keep improving and keep evolving,” Chief Bob Ricks said. “Each academy is not dramatically different. We don't run a high-stress academy.”
The chief said the department has been operating with 10 fewer officers than he is budgeted for because he doesn't want to put people on the street until they are properly trained.
“We need them now,” Ricks said. “But we want them to go through the academy first.”
Since the academy started, Ricks said, only one cadet has failed to graduate.
“We lost one in week two,” Ricks said. “He had his mind made up during the first week. This job is not a job for everybody. They see a lot of stuff on TV, and that is not how it is.
“We guarantee when they graduate they will be prepared.”
Sgt. Jeff Richardson, coordinator of the academy, said getting into the academy is extremely competitive.
“We get absolutely the top,” Richardson said.
The cadets were received during a ceremony at the Edmond police training facility before more than 30 officers.
The other cadets are Christopher Brown, 27, Jason Albright, 29, Brenton Brown, 27, Travis Eastbourne, 35, and Micah Yost, 24.
All six cadets have bachelor's degrees, and two have master's degrees.
One cadet spent five years as a police officer and sergeant with the Lawton Police Department.
One is a 14-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force and a recipient of 12 medals and citations during his military career, including the Meritorious Service Medal.
Another received eight medals and citations, including a Bronze Star, in the National Guard.
One cadet is fluent in German.