By NICK GOSNELL
HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center Director Darin Beck says the academy will be back in session after Thanksgiving, but COVID-19 has impacted their teaching this month.
"We had a number of our staff out on quarantine and actually a number of students, as well, but not nearly the percentage that we had of staff," Beck said. "That required us to postpone classes for a week and give people a chance to finish their quarantine and then come back to work. We have 21 instructors and out of that 21 instructors, we had 9 who were being quarantined."
They took an extra week before the holiday, as they were already going to be closed this week for Thanksgiving. The training center was already reducing class sizes before COVID for instructional reasons.
"We went to smaller cohorts with more frequent classes," Beck said. "Twenty-four to 26 in a cohort. We like to keep them at 24, but depending on demand, we will go up to 26."
Between 120 and 140 students are at the center near Yoder at any one time in different stages of the class.
"We had a surge in demand in September," Beck said. "I don't really know why. There was a surge in hirings and now there is kind of a drop off. We're having trouble filling our December class. It will probably be a 14 person class."
Established by the Kansas Legislature in 1968, KLETC serves as the central law enforcement training facility for the state.