STC to launch Police Academy in Weslaco
South Texas College is gearing up to launch an inaugural Police Academy at the Mid-Valley Campus, scheduled to begin in July 2024.
In response to the increasing demand for law enforcement professionals across the Rio Grande Valley, South Texas College is gearing up to launch a Police Academy at the Mid-Valley Campus in Weslaco, scheduled to begin in July 2024.
“We are very excited and proud to be able to expand our Police Academy to the Mid-Valley region,” said STC’s Dean for Business, Public Safety and Technology Sara Lozano. “This demonstrates our commitment to enhancing quality training and providing the resources needed for our students to become law enforcement professionals.”
STC's Regional Center for Public Safety Excellence in Pharr currently offers two program choices: a full-time 22-week program and a part-time, year-round program with evening hours.
STC’s Mid-Valley Campus will offer a full-time Police Academy program, the second for the college.
“In recent years we have seen an increase of students coming from the east side of Hidalgo County and nearby areas. We don’t want the commute to be an obstacle for all those aspiring law enforcement professionals,” said STC Public Safety Programs Department Chair Victor Valdez.
He added that while students will go to class at the Mid-Valley Campus, they will also have the opportunity to take advantage of the college’s cutting-edge resources such as shooting and driving simulation technology, a driving skills/skid pad and an upcoming two-story building dedicated to tactical training, set to open in the spring.
Additionally, by completing the certificate program, they can earn stackable college credit towards an associate degree in Law Enforcement and a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership.
We are very excited and proud to be able to expand our Police Academy to the Mid-Valley region. This demonstrates our commitment to enhancing quality training and providing the resources needed for our students to become law enforcement professionals.
Students can also benefit from the school’s library and tutoring services and be eligible for financial aid and various scholarships and grants.
"I firmly believe that anyone can become a police officer if they have the desire, they just need the right resources, and that's why we're here," emphasized Valdez. "Our goal is to assist them in navigating the process and achieve success because their success translates into a better and safer community. That's what it's all about."
This is a sentiment shared by Jennifer Rosillo, STC alumni and lead instructor for the new academy.
"The possibilities in law enforcement are endless. A decade ago, when I graduated, I would have never imagined stepping into education," she reflected. "Through my years of hands-on experience, I've had the chance to meet many people and now I get to witness my graduates making a positive impact out there. It is incredibly fulfilling. I'm eager to bring these new opportunities to Weslaco."
In collaboration with the Pharr Police Department, STC's Police Academy was first established in 2012, designed to help students obtain their Peace Officer certification by training them on law enforcement knowledge and hands-on skills.
Since its inception, it has played a pivotal role in shaping hundreds of graduates who have gone on to achieve success in various agencies across the region, the state, and at the federal level.
Deadline to apply to the inaugural academy is May 31, 2024.
For more information on how to apply visit southtexascollege.edu/academics/law-enforcement/academy.html or call 956-872-4208.