DUNBAR, WV (WOWK) – The West Virginia State Police academy is quieter than usual this time of year. What is usually extremely difficult training on-site is now conducted entirely from a computer with Microsoft Teams.
“It’s not the same as being here, I think everyone would realize that,” Capt. David Lee, WVSP director of training, says. “But I’m confident that the more academic-based training we’re giving, they’re still getting the information they need to be effective police officers.”
The academy officially shut its doors on March 13, forcing state police to make adjustments on how they train their officers. Usually, the training program lasts 16 to 25 weeks.
Future law enforcement officers have no contact with the outside world five days per week while in the academy. But according to Lee, changing their techniques during these tough times may be for the better.
“They’re completing the training we give them but they’re also being able to take care of things with their family,” Lee says. “It’s not the same rigid structure. At this point, with what everyone is dealing with during this pandemic I think it’s important to be able to take care of things away from training as well.”
When the academy will reopen again remains uncertain, but state police won’t bring them back until they feel its safe to do so.
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