Photo of Texas CO claiming early graduation garners criticism

Twelve cadets were placed without completing four additional weeks of training, but met state requirements


By Brian Lopez
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

TARRANT COUNTY, Texas — A photo of an apparent Tarrant County corrections officer claiming he graduated from training five weeks early has garnered criticism on social media, many saying that officers are being allowed to graduate without complete training.

The Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office responded to this claim, saying that the cadets are completing state requirements, but that the office typically hosts four additional weeks of their own training, which includes topics like defensive tactics, use of force, de-escalation and mental health.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, 12 cadets have been placed in jails without completing the additional weeks but meeting state requirements. The state requirements also include training on defensive tactics, use of force and mental health. The office plans to offer the additional training at another time.

The office tested 4,444 inmates and officers for COVID-19 last week and expected about 3.5% of them to come back positive, the release says. Because of the number expected, a plan was put in place where the office would pull cadets into the field who have completed 160 hours of field training and their required Texas Commission on Law Enforcement basic county corrections license testing.

“These cadets are fully trained in their required courses and licensed to work in a corrections environment, which is where they are assigned,” the release states. “Corrections officers and peace officers, alike, continue to attend training courses throughout their careers.”

In a Facebook post on Sunday, the office said less than 1% percent of the tests came back positive. Those who tested positive were 19 inmates and seven jail team members.

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©2020 the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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