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El Paso County Sheriff’s Office explains why POST certification for the academy was reinstated

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) -- The El Paso County Sheriff's Office is bringing back a program that is meant to increase the level of training and professionalism of the whole force.

Peace Officer Standards and Training, or POST, certification is the standard training all Colorado law enforcement go through.

Back in 2018, the El Paso County Sheriff's Office experienced attrition agency-wide. To combat that, the sheriff's office implemented a new program that allowed non-POST-certified deputies to work in the jail.

"What that did is that reduced the training by half, which would allow us to get staff into the jail faster and therefore have more academies throughout the year," said El Paso County Sheriff Joseph Roybal.

However, Roybal said that caused other issues.

"What that created was an issue when we have deputies and vacancies that serve the community patrol. Non-service deputies cannot serve in a class one peace officer status out on the street," explained Roybal. "Eventually, if that's all we have, who do I hire to serve the community out on patrol?"

Now, the EPCSO is reverting to the old system and increasing its recruiting efforts.

"Law enforcement took a hit for various reasons, from legislation to a bad rap or bad view by the public of law enforcement where people have steered away from serving the public in a law enforcement role," said Roybal

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office said the POST certification draws a bigger candidate pool. So far, the department has seen an increase of more than 100 applicants in the first posting of the academy.

This Saturday, they're opening it up for another POST academy. The sheriff's office said it anticipates the same results.

There will be three academies offered in 2023. The academies are open to anyone, not just non-certified deputies already working for the EPCSO.

If you're interested in applying to be an El Paso County Sheriff's Deputy, click here.

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Barbara Fox

Barbara is a reporter based out of Pueblo for KRDO


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