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New Year Begins with Unprecedented Basic Training Program

January 18, 2019 01:00 PM
By: Kirk Felix

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In 2017 the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole combined certain operational functions, and as a result Training Academy officials hosted the largest basic training class in the history of the program. The Training Academy welcomed 272 students during orientation that took place on Jan 7.

"This is a result of the work and input by many stakeholders at the front-line level and from all around the state who helped decide what and how to consolidate," Training Academy Director Michael Dooley said. "Basic Training Class #1901 is a great example of that effort and a milestone achievement."

DOC Secretary John Wetzel and the Executive Leadership Team representing the consolidated agency took the opportunity to address the new class, sharing the philosophy of One Team, One Mission.

"This is awesome to see so many of you here starting a great career in the best department in the country," Wetzel said.  With emphasis on integrating services under one agency, Wetzel inspired staff saying, "We are now one team, with one mission, and now will be better able to move the public safety mission forward for Pennsylvanians and our communities."

Made up of individuals from several areas throughout the combined agency, the Executive Leadership Team will continue to welcome and address each basic training class throughout the year.

With Basic Training Class #1901, the beginning of the training period is aligned between DOC and PBPP staff. However, most DOC students complete five weeks of training at the academy while the PBPP students continue for another three weeks.

Dooley was pleased with how the expanded basic training went on its first few days.

"Our staff here at the academy are outstanding," Dooley said.  "To have this many students begin their learning here without a hitch is a testament to their hard work and dedication."

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