GOOSE CREEK , SC (WCSC) - Goose Creek is addressing a law enforcement training “crisis” that is creating a money problem.
The South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy is the only law enforcement academy in the state. It offers a twelve-week program in Columbia.
Goose Creek Police Chief LJ Roscoe says it takes months for officers to secure a spot in the academy. Meanwhile, they are paying these officers’ salaries to wait around.
“The delay for Goose Creek has been about 9 months so from the time we hire an officer to the time we get him to the academy takes about 9 months," said Chief Roscoe.
The city’s mayor, Greg Habib, says it’s creating a costly problem for the city and taxpayers.
According to Habib, in the past the city has had to pay over $100,000 for trainees to wait while using existing officers to cover for them by working overtime.
The city is asking the State Law Enforcement Training Council to consider decentralizing their academy. Chief Roscoe and Mayor Habib believe that localizing or regionalizing where officers train could speed up the process and fill vacancies faster.
Chief Roscoe said, “It needs to be decentralized, either with the community colleges or some of the larger academies are willing to host their own academies or a combination of both.”
Last month the State Law Enforcement Training Council rejected a proposal that would allow Trident Technical College that would allow the school to partner with the Criminal Justice Academy.
Under the proposal the school would help train officer recruits at its North Charleston campus and speed up the process for certification.
Members of the council said the idea needed more study. Similar proposals by the North Charleston Police Department have also been rejected in the past.