LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office Training Academy graduated dozens of cadets at their 100th Basic Law Enforcement Graduation Ceremony on Tuesday morning.
Forty cadets representing different southwest Louisiana law enforcement agencies recently passed the Louisiana Peace Officer Standard Testing (POST) exam and are now certified as Basic Peace Officers.
The training academy's eleven week course teaches the importance of fire arms training, defensive tactics, officer survival, patrol activities, crash investigation, and physical training.
Cadets are required to take the course and pass it in order to be certified as a police officer in Louisiana.
The CPSO training academy trains all law enforcement agencies in Calcasieu, Cameron, Beauregard, Allen and Jeff Davis parishes.
Agencies involved in the class include the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office, Cameron Parish Sheriff's Office, Lake Charles Police Department, Sulphur Police Department, Jeff Davis Sheriff's Office, Westlake Police Department, DeRidder Police Department, Allen Parish Sheriff's Office, DeQuincy Police Department, Iowa Police Department, Jennings Police Department, Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office, Beauregard Parish Sheriff's Office, and Merryville Police Department.
CPSO cadet Will Foust was among the forty cadets that walked across the stage to receive his certificate on Tuesday. Foust will be serving as an officer for the Merryville Police Department.
"They were in need of help and since I am just coming out of the military I decided it was a great opportunity just to go right into law enforcement," said Foust. "Merryville was a great place to start."
According to officials with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office, there is an increased need for more police officers throughout the entire region of southwest Louisiana.
"Right now with the economy some agencies are not hiring as many because their budgets have been cut back so it's a little bit slower," said Soileau.
Soileau added that a high turnover rate also makes it difficult to keep law enforcement officers.
"Some of them use the local agencies to get on and then they work their way up to state and federal level so there is always a turn over," said Soileau.
Foust is excited to help out the law enforcement agency in his hometown of Merryville, LA.
"Today I can stand tall with all my brothers and sisters in law enforcement," said Foust. "I'm prepared and ready to go."
The next class at the CPSO training course will start near the end of August. Cadets must already be hired by a law enforcement agency to qualify for the CPSO Training Academy.