New police academy welcomes officers to Dothan in May

Dothan Police Captain Rachel David welcomes about 100 to the Wiregrass Law Enforcement Agency...
Dothan Police Captain Rachel David welcomes about 100 to the Wiregrass Law Enforcement Agency ceremonial grand opening on April 11, 2023.(WTVY)
Published: Apr. 11, 2023 at 7:56 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Wiregrass Law Enforcement Academy welcomes its first class of trainees next month.

A ceremonial grand opening Tuesday provided a glimpse into the latest Wiregrass Public Safety Center addition.

“This academy is not just a building but a symbol of our commitment (to) providing the best possible training for our law enforcement officers,” Dothan Police Chief Will Benny said at the event.

Candidates will endure rigorous training and an extensive classroom curriculum, with those who complete the course receiving a certification that gives them full police powers.

Alabama Police Officers Standards and Training Executive Secretary Alan Benefield praised the city of Dothan for its support.

“We thank (the city commission), and we thank the Dothan Police Department for their efforts in making today happen,” he said.

APOST is a credentialing agency.

This inaugural academy class begins on May 22, a second one in August, and there will be three classes next year.

Academy Director Col. Jimmy Helms, an Alabama Law Enforcement Agency retiree, credited the hard work of his staff in getting the project ahead of schedule, which allowed the second class this year.

Chief Benny also appreciates the work of academy staff and praised Steve Parrish, his predecessor, whose vision led to the Wiregrass Public Safety Center.

Law enforcement agencies will usually pay the cost of their newly hired to attend the academy---about $1300, not including meals.

Long-range plans could include dormitories allowing the academy to broaden its appeal.

There are four other certification academies in Alabama, the nearest to Dothan in Montgomery.

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