AUSTIN (KXAN) — With 72 cadets expected to graduate from the Austin Police Department’s 144th cadet academy Jan. 28, officials are looking ahead toward solidifying their next academy start date.
During the Austin Public Safety Commission meeting Monday, APD leaders noted a targeted date of March 28 to begin the 145th cadet academy. However, that date is dependent on authorization from Austin City Council, the body that greenlights when classes will begin.
City requirements mandate the city manager “must request authorization for the commencement of the 145th Cadet Class and any subsequent classes in FY22.” In a statement, a spokesperson for the city said staff will come forward for direction from the council on authorizing the next cadet class sometime in February.
“In the meantime, staff is focused on conducting the reimagined pilot 144th Cadet Class, capturing lessons learned, and, if appropriate, implementing changes in real time rather than wait for the next class,” she said.
The 144th cadet academy was APD’s only class in 2021, while the 145th cadet academy would be its first of 2022. Previously, APD Chief Joseph Chacon told the public safety commission Nov. 1 that he envisioned two options for possible class structures in the coming year.
Under the first scenario, APD would host two regular, 8.5-month-long cadet classes and one modified class, which would be a shorter version offered to recruit peace officers from other agencies who’ve applied to join APD.
The second option, Chacon said, would feature three regular cadet classes and one modified academy. However, Chacon noted in November the challenges a higher volume of classes would pose due to the amount of resources, training officials and time needed to host them.
“It’s very important that we get the cadet classes going as efficiently and, really, as quickly as we can so that we are refilling those 190+ vacancies,” Chacon said in November.