WALLINGFORD — Police recruits will need to wait another three months to begin police academy training after a class was canceled by the state due to a staff shortage.
Police Chief William Wright said the state police academy, located in Meriden, offers two classes of basic training every fall. A maximum of 50 recruits are permitted to enroll in a class. He said the department recruited and enrolled two officers for basic training this fall. He was later informed that one of the two classes was canceled and the recruits would have to wait until December to start training.
“... the state has apparently had to cancel the basic recruit class that was due to start in October,” Wright said. “Academy staff has been depleted, not enough to run two classes” at the same time.
Wright said recruits are required to complete a minimum of 27 weeks of police academy training before they officially begin working for the department.
Brian Foley, aide to the state public safety commissioner, said the Wallingford recruits will be enrolled in a December class. The police academy will need to review several “inherited problems” such as vacant positions and infrastructure, he added.
“There’s a lot of issues that need to be looked at in the academy – shortages that need to be addressed,” Foley said.
Wright said recently the department has worked to recruit in different ways to fill vacancies. The department recently hired several new officers by using a lateral transfer process, a method to recruit trained law enforcement officers that are seeking to retire from other departments. This method bypasses the need for the department to provide basic training courses.
“I’m grateful that HR is allowing me to recruit both ways,” Wright said.