Oklahoma County Sheriff Recognized as OKACTE Partner in Progress
OKLAHOMA CITY – Sheriff Tommie Johnson III and the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office received recognition alongside Metro Technology Centers at the 2023 OkACTE Partners in Progress Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, February 21, 2023.
Annually, Oklahoma’s Association for Career and Technology Education (OkACTE) encourages leaders of Oklahoma CareerTech centers across the state to nominate a business or agency within their communities that have played an integral in developing or improving a career training program within their institution.
Metro Technology Centers’ nominated Sheriff Tommie Johnson III and the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office in recognition of their partnership that has grown over the past two years to include a number of workforce training advancements for the law enforcement industry in the state of Oklahoma.
First, the newly constructed Public Safety Academy located at Metro Tech’s South Bryant Campus will expand career opportunities for Oklahoma students by giving them a head start in the public safety sector, creating a direct pipeline for them into full-time jobs through high-level, real-world training.
Once completed, this facility will house several law enforcements training programs, including the Basic Peace Officer Certification (BPOC) program. Through a collaborative effort between the Sheriff’s Office, Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET), the legislature and Career Tech, Metro Tech offers its BPOC program to individuals interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement in Oklahoma, to complete basic training without traveling to the training site in Ada.
Approximately 20 law enforcement professionals are trained every 12 weeks through Metro Tech’s BPOC program. Since 2018, the Sheriff has also been providing staff to assist with curriculum writing, firearms training and course work.
The Public Safety Academy will also be the new location for Oklahoma County’s 911 Call Center, under the Sheriff’s direction. In addition to serving as dispatch for all field deputies, nine municipalities rely on the Sheriff’s Communications Division for dispatch services to their police officers and firefighters. With this, the facility will allow Metro Tech students to train in real-life scenarios.
“This partnership has allowed both of our agencies to do what they do best” Sheriff Johnson said. “Our officers are assisting Metro Tech with the oversight of coursework, curriculum and firearms training. Together, we will be able to educate our next generation of first responders using real-life scenarios. Ultimately, this benefits Oklahoma County residents as our officers and future officers will be more prepared to ensure their safety in critical situations.”
An $80-milion bond issue, passed by Oklahoma City voters in 2019, has funded the Public Safety Academy. The academy also involves local partnerships with other law enforcement and first responder agencies including the Oklahoma City Police Department and Oklahoma City Fire Department.
Overall, the new Public Safety Academy will create a pipeline to transition students into critical occupations such as law enforcement officers and 911 dispatchers with the goal of fostering a strong public safety workforce that reflects the communities they serve.
“At Metro Tech, we believe in training that is practical, affordable and accessible for all students in our community,” Metro Tech Superintendent, Aaron Collins, said. “That approach, along with our new law enforcement and first responder partnerships, will equip our students with real-world skills to help strengthen the workforce, and advance much-needed career training in Oklahoma. These jobs are not only incredibly important in ensuring that our communities stay safe as a whole, but these jobs are also high demand and are projected to have positive future growth. We are grateful to Sheriff Johnson and his staff for assisting us in making this vision a reality and that’s why we nominated for this recognition.”
- Press Release
About Metro Tech
One of the largest and most diverse technology centers in Oklahoma, Metro Tech has four campuses offering short-term, career and customized business training. Campuses are located in South Oklahoma City, Northeast Oklahoma City, the Will Rogers Airport and Downtown Oklahoma City. www.metrotech.edu
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