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LCSO announces new training academy

By MEGHAN BRADBURY - | Jun 26, 2024

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno announced Wednesday that the office now has its own training academy, which will put more boots on the ground and lower response times.

“It’s an iconic day for Lee County and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office,” he said during a press conference. “What you see today sets the pace and tone for decades moving forward. We have always worked with our amazing partners of the Southwest Florida Criminal Justice Academy; we continue to work with them, but now have our own academy.”

Although the Southwest Florida Criminal Justice Academy did a great job, they were limited, as the academy served five counties, leaving not many the Lee County Sheriff’s Office could hire, he said.

The new academy is a game changer because they will continuously be putting more boots on the street, Marceno added.

“Today is a huge, huge win for not just the sheriff’s office, but for the entire community,” he said.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office is one of seven to have an academy in the state of Florida. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will continue with curriculum, overseeing the program and training people to custom fit the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

“We have the ability now to continuously run classes to custom tailor the training of what we want for our agency,” Marceno said.

The police academy is being paid for within their existing budget.

“This building was refurbished and in our budget,” he said. “We use our budget money to pay for academy classes now and sponsor individuals. Right now, we have over 58 in law enforcement and over 20 in corrections.”

The instructors are top notch and have been around for decades, Marceno said.

“They come from all over — corrections, investigation, SWAT, and now with their knowledge they will get that knowledge to our new recruitments who will soon be graduating,” he said.

The academy gives the office the ability to provided hands-on personalized training so they know exactly what and how they do things at the Sheriff’s Office. Their four phases now turns into one because they already know most of what they do locally, he said.

Marceno said the community will see more police presence.

“We want people from all over knowing that Lee County is a safe place for people to live,” he said.

Last year more than 80,000 people moved to Lee County, which Marceno said is because there is safety, security and law and order in the county. With that many people moving into the area there are more calls of service than ever.

“We deliver a concierge level of service and that is an absolute must. What an amazing, dedicated profession in a world where common sense is gone,” Marceno said. “We have people lined up to wear the uniform to serve others before themselves. This is a great place to live, and it is filled with great, amazing residents. We are going to continue to keep people safe.”