Police academy in Brownwood hopes to expand applicant pool


BROWNWOOD, Texas - Brownwood is hosting a police academy starting next year to expand the pool of local qualified applicants to its police department and the Brown County Sheriff's Office.

The seven-month academy will be led by the West Central Texas Council of Governments. The classes will start on Jan. 2, but the deadline to apply is Friday.

Caleb Studdard, 24, already submitted his application and is currently working as a gun specialist at a pawn shop. But Studdard said he can't wait to trade in placing guns on a rack to protecting residents as a Brownwood Police Officer.

"I have a passion to serve people in all aspects," Studdard said. "Yeah, it's very dangerous. But that's part of it and that's what you sign up for."

Studdard said he's wanted to become a police officer since childhood, and prior to applying, he worked as a corrections officer for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

"There is some nervousness and anxiousness that goes into dedication," Studdard said.

Assistant Chief of the Brownwood Police Department James Fuller said applicants have to be sponsored by one of the local law enforcement agencies in order to take part. But, he hopes the training will fill a need in his department.

"When we become fully staffed, we are quite literally putting two more officers on the streets, every hour of every day," Fuller said.

Enrolling in the academy will cost would-be participants $2,400. Classes will be held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and then all day on Saturday inside the Law Enforcement Center.

Fuller said the department tries to bring a police academy every two to three years to Brownwood to train those in the community who want to become peace officers. It saves aspiring officers the time and money of having to get the training elsewhere.

Fuller hopes to get a minimum of 15 applicants, so far they have 11.

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