St. Augustine police donate cars to academy

Susan Kessler reported to Historic City News local news reporters that the Criminal Justice Academy at St. Johns River Community College has received a donation of two police cars from the St. Augustine Police Department.

Chief of Police Loran Lueders said he is glad to have the opportunity to help the academy. “We appreciate the quality training being offered by the College and want to do everything we can to support its efforts in training professional law enforcement officers,” Lueders said.

Gary Killam, SJRCC director of criminal justice training, said the academy is required by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to use police cars to train recruits in vehicle operations.

“We are very fortunate to have such tremendous support from all of our local agencies. Not only are they willing to donate cars, but all of them provide a great deal of time and effort as members of our advisory board to ensure we are providing the best possible education for our criminal justice students,” Killam said.

The cars will be marked to indicate that they were donated by the agency and marked with the SJRCC academy logo. Killam said the academy requires at least five cars available for training on the driving range. The cars do not have to be new, but the academy prefers that the cars not have an excessive amount of miles on them to ensure safety. Without the donations, Killam said the academy would have to purchase the cars from dealers.

The criminal justice certificate programs provide job-related training to prepare cadets for entry-level employment in their career field. Cadets who complete the certificate program will be eligible to take the state certification exam. The programs are located on the St. Augustine campus. The next corrections class is scheduled to begin in August. The next law enforcement basic recruit day class is scheduled to begin in July. The night class is scheduled to begin in September.

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