Clark State receives cruiser donation from sheriff’s office

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office has donated an SUV cruiser to the Clark State College Basic Peace Officer Training Academy.

The 2014 Ford Police Interceptor Utility vehicle, equipped with a light bar and siren, will be used for driving classes and stop-and-approach classes in the academy.

“Our academy stands apart from others because we are able to enhance our program through generous donations provided to us by entities such as the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and the Springfield Police Division,” said Karen Benton, interim assistant dean for Clark State’s School of Health, Human and Public services.

Clark County Sheriff Deb Burchett said as they receive new cruisers, old ones are often sold at auction, but in this instance, they were able to donate it instead. She said the SUV is needed at the academy since the current cruisers are sedans and many departments now use SUVs.

“We wanted to make this donation in order to share resources that were needed by both entities,” she said. “It also strengthens ties between the two entities who have historically been partners in education and employment.”

Clark State Police Academy Commander Paul Weber said the donation will help cadets continue to receive the best training available while in the academy.

“(This) enables us to give cadets the best training as well as giving these departments top quality officers, who serve our communities,” he said. “Our current fleet is aging and is in need of replacement. The new addition will help us get quality equipment to better train our cadets.”

In returned for the SUV donation, the Matthew Yates Tactical Training space will be made available for the sheriff’s office for continued education and training. Burchett said this will benefit deputies by providing them with a training venue to grow and develop skills needed to keep everyone safe.

“The space is needed due to the county not having a facility with training mats,” she said. “We have moved to various facilities over the years but needed a stable location. Annually and during new employee training, deputies and correctional officers must complete physical subject control training and a safe, padded space is needed to do this.”

Weber said the college has worked hard to improve training through the academy, and graduates have achieved a 100% pass rate for the second time in a row. The facility has went from one classroom to a five-room training facility, with two classrooms, a practical training room with a Milo computer training for various scenario training, a weight room that went from one stationary bike to two stationary bikes, two treadmills, two ellipticals, a rowing machine and a weight bench, and an updated subject control room.

In early 2024, Weber said the academy will conduct its first corrections academy.

The college offers four academies a year — four-month daytime academies and six-month evening academies twice a year. Each is limited to 25 cadets, who must be 21 years or older at the time they take the state certification exam, have a valid Ohio’s driver license, a high school diploma or GED equivalent, and cannot have a felony or violent misdemeanor convictions.

Those interested should visit the academy office in the Brinkman Educational Center to pick up and complete the required OPOTA application and other required forms. A candidate is then required to pass a physical assessment test, a physical, a drug screen and be finger-printed for a BCI background check at the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

For more information, contact Weber at

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