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News / Clark County News

Law enforcement training center will open in January at former Image Elementary in east Vancouver

Temporary home will function as academy until 'not just a police academy but a full regional training center' can be sited, says Sheriff Horch

By Becca Robbins, Columbian staff reporter
Published: December 21, 2023, 1:38pm

Southwest Washington’s regional law enforcement training academy will open Jan. 16 at the former Image Elementary School in east Vancouver.

Clark County Sheriff John Horch said the campus on Northeast 122nd Avenue will house the first few classes while officials continue to look for a permanent location.

“We’re looking for a location to put a permanent site with better access to hotels, restaurants, and to be a full training center — not just a police academy but a full regional training center,” Horch said.

The location will be the second to open outside of the main campus in Burien, following the opening of a center in Pasco in May. Several Clark County law enforcement officials attended that ribbon-cutting, with the hopes that Vancouver’s location would be next.

Area law enforcement leaders have pushed for the local academy in hopes it would encourage more people from the area to apply — those who may have previously been dissuaded at the though of spending five months away from home.

Academies are also slated to open in Everett and Bellingham as part of a statewide effort to reduce wait times to start training.

The Basic Law Enforcement Academy is Washington’s mandated training academy for all city and county entry-level peace officers in the state. The sheriff’s office expects the regional academy will accommodate as many as 30 students per class and run two classes per year. Each class will teach the 720-hour curriculum over approximately 18 weeks.