Forty-four men and women from the Oklahoma City Police Department's Recruit Class #132 began their 28-week training at the new Oklahoma City Police Training Academy Friday morning.
Officials said the recruits assembled early Friday for their first flag ceremony, and then they entered the police academy, located at 800 N. Portland Avenue, and were introduced to the training staff.
Lieutenant Silvio Kimmel with the Oklahoma City Police Department talked with News 9 about what the recruits are experiencing on their first day at the academy.
"The first day is very stressful. They don't know what to expect. They're all individuals. They're bringing in all sorts of different backgrounds. We try to get them to be disciplined right off the bat to make sure they bond and quickly gel together and learn as a group… They learn to be a team, work as a team, fail as a team and all progress through the team."
Officials said the Academy will run through December 4, and recruits will receive over 1,000 hours of intensive training including physical fitness, traffic accident investigation, patrol techniques, legal issues, firearms, law enforcement driver training, community relations and criminal investigations, as well as 70 hours of Spanish language instruction.
According to officials, Recruit Class #132 consists of 37 males and seven females. The youngest recruit is 21 years old; the oldest is 44 years old, and 18 recruits have military experience.
Lt. Kimmel said the process to get into the Academy is very competitive.
"We look for the best of the best," said Kimmel. "Once they get here, we fine tune them and get them to that point."
Lt. Kimmel said at the end of the Academy, the recruits will continue on to the field training program, which lasts four to six months.