MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz. --
Due to consolidation of the Marine Corps’ civilian police academies into one West Coast and one East Coast location, the final class of station-trained civilian police cadets graduated at the theater here April 16, 2009.
Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., will be the site of the West Coast academy and Camp Lejeune, N.C., will have the East Coast school.
“Up until now, each base has been holding its own academy,” said Brian Benbow, station academy lead instructor. “It was the same for the East Coast.”
The station provost marshal and his staff will still select Yuma’s cadets, but will send them to Miramar for their training.
“Everything’s the same there as it is here,” said Benbow. “They practice the same scenarios, have the same syllabus and lesson plans.”
Regionalizing the academies also simplifies and standardizes the training, said police Capt. Jordan Rogers, Yuma's deputy provost marshal.
“This will make training more consistent across the board,” said Rogers. “It will ensure everyone is taught the same techniques and tactics so that no one needs to be retrained on anything.”
Additionally, with the academy in Miramar, the station’s instructors can redirect their focus to overall military and civilian police training here, said Rogers.
“They’ll be providing more hands-on, scenario-based training,” said Rogers. “It’ll be more in-depth and relevant, even to our (security augments).”
There are still some possible drawbacks to the change, according to some recent academy graduates.
“This is the place you’re going to work at,” said Peter Madriles, a recent graduate. “The way we experienced the academy, we got to know the station while we trained. That won’t be as true with future cadets.”
Though new cadets will be trained in Miramar, they will still receive training here after they graduate.
“They still have to learn how to do their jobs here,” said Rogers. “Once they get back, they have to learn the streets and intersections in base housing, important buildings on base, the different units and where they are, and operations specific to the air station.”
While at the Miramar academy, each class of which is approximately 10 weeks long, cadets will be provided with barracks rooms and monthly meal allotments.
The first regionalized academy class is scheduled to begin later in April.