Decatur, IL – 71 officers and deputies graduated from the Macon County Law Enforcement Training Center (MCLETC) on Friday, November 18.
Over the past 14 weeks, Class 22-18 (filled with recruits from police stations and sheriff’s offices across central Illinois) completed the Basic Law Enforcement Academy, which prepared them for duty through lessons in the classroom and real-life experience with scenarios.
Officer John Welton with the Decatur Police Department said the scenarios helped him understand the lessons more deeply. “Somebody could ask you, ‘Do you have questions about this?’ And you may not. But when you go through the motions and try to make your own decisions, then you can say, ‘Okay, I’ve gotten to this point. Now I have questions. Could you answer these questions for me so I know where my thought process needs to be and how I can complete this specific task?’”
When asked how she felt about graduating, Officer Tia Kuenzel (Decatur Police Department) said, “I’ve always worked in a law enforcement career. I started in corrections and have been there for 7 years. Now, I finally took this opportunity to join the Decatur Police Department. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. It feels unreal, but it feels great.”
Along with this class graduating, Deputy Commander Thomas Schneider is retiring from his position at MCLETC. He said it has been an honor to work with recruits for the past five years, passing on his knowledge from when he was sheriff.
“I remember the first time in 1990 when I was coming up and receiving my certificate for graduation from the academy. It is an unbelievable achievement,” he said. “Now is the time for these officers to be agents of change, making a difference in people’s lives. I really am proud that I’ve had the opportunity to be part of that.”
The next Basic Law Enforcement Academy (Class 23-19) will begin on Sunday, January 8th.
About Macon County Law Enforcement Training Center
The Macon County Law Enforcement Training Center (MCLETC) is an Illinois Law Enforcement Training & Standards Board certified Law Enforcement and Corrections Academy. Richland Community College operates MCLETC, which brings in professionals from across the nation to properly train police recruits. (www.mcletc.org)