doj gradsRICHMOND, Ky. (4/14/19) — Owensboro Police Department’s Chad M. Gilbert and Derek W. Griffith were among 25 law enforcement officers graduating this week from basic training at the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training.

Griffith also earned the Firearms Proficiency Award.

The graduates of Class 500 completed 20 weeks of training, which consisted of 800 hours of recruit-level instruction. Major training areas included law offenses and procedures, vehicle operations, firearms, investigations, first aid, CPR, patrol procedures, orientation for new law enforcement families and the mechanics of arrest, restraint and control.

The first DOCJT Basic Training Academy class graduated in 1969, and DOCJT was honored to host Class 1 graduate Herman Kidwell on stage Thursday. Kidwell, 75, worked for the Fayette County Police Department when he attended training, which was three weeks long at that time.

“It’s so hard to believe, it has passed mighty fast,” Kidwell said of the 499 classes that came after him. “It’s amazing.”

The first academy class was taught by instructors from the FBI, Kentucky State Police, and other law enforcement departments, Kidwell recalled, and was hosted at Eastern Kentucky University. Kidwell remained with FCPD through its merger with Lexington Police Department in 1973 and retired from his law enforcement career in 2001. He still makes a regular effort to keep in touch with his fellow retirees.

“We had a diverse bunch of people – a good bunch of people,” Kidwell said of his graduating class. “I enjoyed it and we learned a lot. You can’t get enough training, that’s for sure. It has really developed from what I had when I was here.”

Several recruits earned awards for their academy performance, including one recruit of distinction. To earn this recognition, a student must not fail any tested area, not receive any disciplinary action, earn an evaluation rating of acceptable in every observed category and score an average of 95 percent or higher on all academic tests. Recruits of distinction must participate in a community project and actively promote teamwork within the class environment.

Basic training is mandatory for Kentucky law enforcement officers to comply with the state’s Peace Officer Professional Standards Act of 1998. The Department of Criminal Justice Training provides basic training for city and county police officers, sheriffs’ deputies, university police, airport police and others. 

The agency also provides in-service and leadership training for Kentucky law enforcement officers and public safety dispatch training.

The Department of Criminal Justice Training is a state agency located on Eastern Kentucky University’s campus. The agency is the first in the nation to be accredited under the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies’ public safety training program designation. DOCJT also earned accreditation through the International Association for Continuing Education and Training in 2013.

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