Trumbull campus creates first police academy at university

Alaina Robbins

Students of the Kent State Trumbull police academy have a laugh during physical training Monday. The cadets train Monday through Thursday and will be eligible to apply as officers after seven months. MICHELE ROEHRIG | SUMMER KENT STATER

Credit: Steve Schirra

    Kent State Trumbull will hold an opening reception on Aug. 8 to celebrate its newest addition – the Kent State University Trumbull Ohio Basic Police Academy.

The Trumbull campus recently acquired and took control of the former Mahoning Trumbull Columbiana Police Academy in Niles. The first full academy at Kent State began on June 17 with 18 cadets.

The local sheriff and police departments, the justice studies department and Trumbull campus Dean Wanda Thomas will be attending the open house. Interested parties are encouraged to take a tour of the facility.

The Northeast Ohio academy is unique because classes are offered in the evenings and on weekends.

“The program is intended for the working adult,” Thomas said.

The curriculum for the 30-week-long program is mandated by the State of Ohio. Cadets attend classes in the Workforce Development and Continuing Studies Center from 6-10 p.m. Monday through Friday. A few weekend classes are also required to practice firearms and driving skills.

The new academy is intended to draw students from campus and the surrounding areas, said Carol Gregory, director of Public Safety Training and Research. She said that the academy intends to run three to four programs a year.

In addition to peace officer certifications, the academy also offers corrections classes. The first corrections program will begin on July 24. Classes will last for eight to 10 weeks.

Jim Ciotti is an adjunct professor at Kent State Trumbull and one of over 50 instructors at the academy. He helped to initiate talks between the university and Catherine Kieley, former owner and operator of the Mahoning Trumbull Columbiana Police Academy.

Kieley was retained by Kent State to serve as the new program coordinator. She is highly respected statewide because her cadets have a 99 percent passing rate for the state certification.

With 15 years in the business, Kieley brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table, Gregory said.

A new fitness center for the cadets was opened less than a month ago in order to fulfill state requirements. All equipment was purchased from the former YMCA in Warren, Gregory said.

“We expect a lot of our cadets, especially physical fitness,” Gregory said.

Although the new academy is a separate entity from the academic side of Kent State Trumbull, the branch offers an associate degree and a bachelor’s degree in justice studies.

Academy cadet Tyler Obradovich is a fifth-year senior justice studies major at Kent State Trumbull who is fulfilling his internship requirements through the academy.

“The academy is a lot like high school football with all the drills,” Obradovich said. “It’s challenging.”

The academy plans to expand its offerings by also holding continuing education and advanced training for current law enforcement officers in the fall.

“This academy has the potential to be one of the best in the area,” commander David Wert said. “We have a vision.”

On Sept. 18, a new series of classes will begin. Enrollment is currently open.

Contact regional campuses and international affairs reporter Alaina Robbins at [email protected].