College of Western Idaho (CWI) graduate, Rigdon Reddish, has always known he wanted to have a career in Law Enforcement.
“Growing up with family in Law Enforcement was very inspiring and sparked a desire,” Reddish said. “I remember being in a situation where I got to see Law Enforcement officers in action and right then it clicked, and I knew it was what I wanted to do.”
Pursuing his dream career as soon as he could is what brought the 20-year-old to CWI and enroll in the College’s Law Enforcement Program in Fall 2022.
With over 200 years of combined law enforcement experience, CWI’s instructors prepare students to make a difference in their community and reach their career goals using state-of-the-art facilities, and hands-on training.
“My expectation of the program is to provide the best training possible and prepare students to go out and be successful in whatever they do,” said Law Enforcement Program Director, LeRoy Forsman.
CWI’s program offers two areas of study — patrol and detention officer. The program has been approved by the Idaho Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Council and eliminates the graduates’ need to attend the basic police academy before taking the certification exam.
“We do the training upfront rather than the agencies having to hire students and then pay to send them away for several months to get trained,” Forsman said. “The students get an education, in both patrol and detention, then they can go to work for agencies right away.”
Students in the program must also go through a polygraph test, background check, and other vetting processes as they would if hired at a department.
From having students undergo physical training to bringing in officers to share personal stories of what can go on in the field, the program offers a good idea of this career and how it may be in the real world.
For students under the age of 21, like Reddish, CWI’s Law Enforcement program also allows them to get a head start in their careers.
Most Law Enforcement departments in Idaho require people to be 21 years old to work as an officer who has arresting authority or to even enroll in their academics. CWI’s program allows students as young as 18 to enroll, where, upon completion of the course, they can then work as Detention or Correctional Officers in Idaho jails and prisons or get the training to then begin work as sworn officers as soon as they turn 21.
Because of his training at CWI, Reddish has already been hired for his dream job — before he is even 21. He will begin work as a Patrol Officer for the Caldwell Police Department this September, after his 21st birthday.
“I wanted this career, and I went and got it. I was determined,” Reddish said.
Reddish is one of 11 from his graduating class of 15 who were either hired or in the process of becoming employed with local law enforcement agencies before graduation in May 2023. Others were hired at local agencies, such as Canyon County Sheriff’s Office, Ada County Sheriff’s Office, Idaho Department of Corrections, and more.
There are some agencies who still require recruits to go through their own police academy training, but Forsman said students coming from CWI “fly through it.” He added it is more of a refresher course for CWI graduates.
“This is a great program,” said Reddish. “I would recommend to others who know this is the career for them and wish to pursue it, then they come in ready to learn and stay focused. You must work hard for what you want and stay disciplined.”
Applications for Fall 2023 are being accepted through Friday, July 28. For those interested in applying or in need of more information, please visit the Law Enforcement program page or contact LeRoy Forsman at firstname.lastname@example.org.