Like most institutions around the country, Oklahoma's Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training, or CLEET, was forced to scale back in-person instruction at its academy in Ada due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Now, according to executive director Jesus "Eddie" Campa, the agency is ready to slowly begin welcoming cadets back.
"We are allowed to bring them back to the facility, but we want to do that at a slow pace," Campa said at a video conference meeting of the councilmembers on Wednesday. "There's going to be very minimal contact and very minimal exposure."
Campa said cadets will bunk in dorm rooms without roommates, with empty rooms between them. Each cadet will sit at their own table in the cafeteria. And where possible, cadets will continue to use remote instruction where appropriate.
"We started online training, and we've had a lot of positive feedback from the cadets," Campa said of the "around 65" trainees who had gone through the digital course.
Last month, Governor Kevin Stitt issued an executive order which loosened the requirements for training and certification through CLEET due to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Almost all law enforcement officers in Oklahoma, at the local, county, and state levels, are required to undergo training and be certified by CLEET in order to serve on a police force. Officers are also required to complete a certain number of hours of CLEET-approved continuing education training throughout their careers.