The largest police academy in Lubbock history is now down to 38 recruits after six drop out of the program. NewsChannel 11 has had exclusive coverage of the academy, bringing you the stories of three different recruits going through the program.
Being a police officer for the city of Lubbock takes 23 weeks of intensive classroom and physical training. Our three recruits are now on week number four.
Olivia Lopez, one of the four girls says, "The first week I thought, what did I get myself into?" Lopez says she still struggles with both the academics and physical training, but compared to four weeks ago, she is even surprised by her growth. "I do the best that I can. I don't compare myself to anyone else, just to the week before."
Lubbock Police Looking for Officers
"The most difficult procedure is penal code. It gives us foundation for everything here on out, but everyone did very well on the test." Cody Nesbitt says his biggest accomplishment was surviving the most crucial part of the classroom training. "You need to treat everyone equally and fair. This job is about making sure you do the right thing at the right time not because of who someone is or is not."
Being fair is something Lubbock police value. The class is learning about racial profiling and how to keep it out of the department. 2004 numbers show that 58% of traffic violators were Anglo, about 30% were Hispanic, and 10% were African American.
Another graph shows the arrest rate with Hispanics at 44%, Anglos next at 29%, and African Americans just below that number at 25%.
"The reason we initiate contact is based on actions, not based on race or ethnicity." Jonathan Tutino studies about five hours every night to prepare for classroom tests, but says there is nothing anyone can do to prepare for the physical demands of the job. "It's difficult each week, I see a difference, by the end we'll all be in top notch shape."
Next week we come back out to the academy to follow our recruit's through their second physical test, which includes a body fat and muscle mass test to show us just how far they come in the past month.
Lubbock Police Academy Losing Recruits
The police academy has lost five recruits in the last week, meaning the largest class in history went from 44 to 39.
3 Recruits: Same Goal, Different Roads
Meet the three new recruits that we will follow from day one of their training in the Lubbock Police Academy all the way through graduation day.
Largest Class Ever Not Enough for Lubbock Police Academy
The 44 new recruits began their 23 week training Monday morning. This class is moving Lubbock closer to its goal of two officers for every 1,000 citizens.