The Suburban Law Enforcement Academy (SLEA) prepares recruits from all over Illinois for jobs as a full time police officer through a 12-week training program.
These recruits have been in the SLEA program for the last 8 weeks since Jan. 7.
Last week, the recruits learned proper ways to approach a traffic stop and this week they will learn other topics including defensive tactics.
According to SLEA Class Supervisor Bob Lee, the recruits have come from several different backgrounds before deciding to become a police officer, even including a former chemist.
SLEA student and recruit police officer Ryan Forrest studied criminal justice in college and then worked at a juvenile jail before deciding to become a police officer.
“It’s a good experience because they throw a lot of real life situations at us so when we do go out on the streets, we’re well prepared for pretty much anything that could happen,” Forrest said.
Some requirements for the academy include completing at least 480 hours of training before being fully employed.
Lessons range from proper traffic stop techniques to defense tactics and firearm proficiency “… so it’s a combination of class room and practicalities,” Lee said.
The recruits are expected to complete their training towards the end of the month with firearm training beginning the second week of March at a range in Joliet as the last part of the program.
At the end of their semester, the recruits will take a state mandated test before they graduate the academy on March 29.