For years, the Oklahoma Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) has rented or borrowed space from other government agencies in order to conduct its training academies for peace officers. That will change next month when the K.O. Rayburn Training Center in Ada welcomes its inaugural academy.
Although there had been concerns raised that the agency would not have the funds needed for the first academy in the new facility, Sen. Susan Paddack, D-Ada, and Sen. Kenneth Corn, D-Poteau, worked to expedite $500,000 in funds designated for the center.
“This means 120 peace officers will be able to train at this state-of-the-art complex, helping them learn the skills they need to protect our citizens,” Paddack said. “This center will be one of the finest law enforcement training facilities in the entire country and it will help us do an even better job of preparing these men and women to serve our citizens.”
Dr. Jeanie Nelson is the Executive Director of CLEET. She thanked Corn and Paddack for their efforts in securing additional resources.
“These additional funds ensure that we will welcome a full class of participants to our first academy,” said Nelson. “This represents a tremendous step forward for the training we provide to municipal, county and state peace officers.”
The new facility is approximately 124,000 square feet and will include nine classrooms, two firing ranges, a driver training track, cafeteria, dormitory and administrative offices.
The center will require additional funds for equipment and other needs, which the lawmakers anticipate will be addressed when the Legislature reconvenes next session.
“Sen. Paddack and I were committed to ensuring this facility would have the necessary resources to host the September academy—there was never any question that this was a top priority,” Corn said. “Public safety represents one of the most important functions of government. CLEET is a fundamental part of that effort.”