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Police Recruits Ready To Arrive At Ada For Training

ADA, Okla. (AP) _ Police recruits in Oklahoma will begin training next month at a new $26.4 million facility.

The K.O. Rayburn Training Center will accept an academy of 120 recruits on Sept. 18.

The 124,000-square-foot building has dormitory space for 136, and its cafeteria can seat 200, said Jeanie Nelson, the executive director for the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training. The campus also features two firing ranges, a 1.9-mile driving track and a three-bedroom house used to construct mock crime scenes.

Previously, CLEET always leased, rented or borrowed the facilities it used to train most of the state's law enforcement officers, Nelson said.

Next month's class will be the first class to complete virtually all of its training under one roof, Nelson said.

Although the training center will give recruits a more streamlined experience, the process of planning, building and funding the center proved to be anything but streamlined.

The Legislature approved funding in 2000 for the complex, which expects a $1.7 million annual operating budget. But the Legislature this year gave the agency just $430,000 out of a request for an additional $2.9 million the agency said was needed to open the complex.

The agency recently received $500,000 that it would have received at a later date, allowing the center to open.

``There was a lot of confusion about what CLEET's budget request was for,'' said Sen. Kenneth Corn, D-Poteau, chairman of the Public Safety and Judiciary Committee.

``Certainly, we will be looking at supplemental funding for CLEET when we return to session in February,'' Corn said.

Nelson said the first academy will be 120 officers, eliminating a backlog of recruits who had applied to the academy.

CLEET provides law enforcement training for every county sheriff's department and all municipal police departments except Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Norman, which have their own academies.
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