Students at Bakersfield College who are seeking a cheaper and faster route to a career in law enforcement can take advantage of the link between WESTEC and BC.
“It’s quicker and a lot more affordable. With the economy, you have a lot of people changing career and losing jobs… they need to find work as soon as they can to continue to support their families,” said Chris Resendez, program manager.
BC and WESTEC have been working together since 2001. WESTEC offers law enforcement classes and a basic core academy. These classes are accredited through BC, but the classes are taken at the WESTEC facility.
Resendez explained that having the certificates that they offer makes you more marketable to law enforcement agencies that are hiring. He gives an example using the Kern County Sheriff’s Department. He explained that if you were to apply to work at the Kern County Sheriff’s Department with the certificates offered, you would look much more marketable because the Sheriff’s Department would save money as they would not have to send you to the academy.
Resendez said, “Right now, facilities around the academy, including the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, are hiring, and it’s a secure profession. Crime is not going to stop.”
BC and Resendez are working on getting orientation at BC, not only at WESTEC. He explained that there is a possibility of an academy coming to BC.
The courses and certificates that WESTEC offer allow you to apply to any county detention facility in the state of California.
There are two academies that are offered. One of them is during the day, and the other is in the evening. In order to be involved in the courses and academy, you must be 18 years old.
The Corrections Officer Core Course (208 hours) is seven units at BC. The P.C. 832 Arrest and Control course (40 hours) is one unit. The P.C. 832 Firearms Training course (24 hours) is a quarter of a unit.
There is a course registration fee for the courses that are needed, but financial aid is offered through America’s Job Center of California. “Our job is to give you an avenue that will put you to work,” said Resendez.
For more information about WESTEC, you can visit westec.org.