VSO To Launch New In-House Training Academy

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DeLand, FL - For years, the Volusia Sheriff's Office (VSO) had to utilize outside institutions to provide basic law enforcement training to deputy recruits. Now, thanks to approval from the state, the Sheriff's Office can provide in-house training and pay recruits as they train.

State officials with the Criminal Justice Standards & Training Commission approved a proposal from VSO—brought forward by Volusia Sheriff Mike Chitwood—that will now allow the agency to streamline the hiring process and allow new recruits to begin a career in law enforcement without having to pay for classes out of their own pockets.

"From the day you're selected for hire, we'll pay you, train you and prepare you for a successful, rewarding career in modern law enforcement," Sheriff Chitwood said Thursday morning (February 11th) after the program was approved. "We're investing in you from the beginning, so you don’t pay to go to school—we pay you."

Previously, recruits first had to complete the FDLE-certified Basic Law Enforcement Academy at Daytona State College, which consisted of a 770-hour training program. According to VSO, that program additionally used several agency facilities and required an additional 800 hours of training following graduation from the course. Now, recruits will instead be hired, paid, and trained as Sheriff’s Office employees.

Under the new plan, recruit training will build on the existing curriculum with more emphasis on community policing, body camera usage, cultural diversity and implicit bias, and de-escalation tactics. Interested candidates should visit the recruitment website, BecomeADeputy.com, for more information on the program and how to apply.

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