With the pinning of badges and a recitation of a pledge of ethics, a group of 14 cadets graduated from the Asheville Police Department’s police academy last week.
The ceremony, at A-B Tech’s Ferguson Auditorium, marked the end of 11 weeks and more than 1,000 hours of training. Coursework covers everything from how to manage a confrontation to how to handle a patrol car, and cadets must pass a written exam on each section of the training. Cadets must also submit to being Tasered and pepper-sprayed.
The other major component of the academy is rigorous physical training. Cadets participate in a daily run and must complete a police officer physical-agility test. It’s all overseen by the academy taskmaster, Lt. Gary Gudac, the department’s recruitment and training director.
The Asheville Police Department has operated its own police academy since 2005. It’s sanctioned by the N.C. Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission, and requires training above the state-mandated portion of police training commonly known as Basic Law Enforcement Training.
The new graduates are: Albert Ball Jr., Nathan R. Ball, Joseph Daniel Bilbrey, Justin A. Booth, James W. Cecil, Rodney Keith Cloer, Mark D. Crawford, Sarah J. Foley, Sarah M. Gagliano, Carl L. Greco, Nicholas R. Mitchell, Jonathan C. Morgan, Jeffrey H. Woollam and John M. Zeigler.
The next police academy class begins in September.
— Jason Sandford, multimedia editor