Basic Peace Officer Training Academy

The Basic Peace Officer Training Academy is a six month program that can be taken alone or as part of the Criminal Justice – Law Enforcement program that provides the student with the fundamentals of entry-level peace officer training for employment as a law enforcement officer.

The Basic Peace Officer Training Academy consists of two courses CJUS 1102 and CJUS 1103. This Academy is held on Fayette Campus, Monday through Thursday from 5:30pm to 10:00pm and on Saturday from 8:30am to 5:00pm. There are four additional Sunday classes.

Most coursework for the Academy takes place on Fayette Campus. The instructors are recruited from various state, county and local law enforcement agenices. Upon successfuly completion, students are eligible to sit for the OPOTA State Certification exam.


Ready to apply? Follow these steps!

Step 1 – Complete an Enrollment Packet

Note: The enrollment packet currently available is for reference only. Do not complete and submit it. The valid enrollment packet for the Basic Peace Officer Training Academy scheduled to begin January 2015 will be available below in October 2014.

Printed copies are available on Fayette Campus.

Step 2 – Have a Background Check

The program requires all applicants to complete a background check before being considered for enrollment.

Step 3 – Schedule Pre-Assessment

At the pre-assessment, the student will take a physical fitness assessment and submit their completed enrollment packet. Dates of upcoming pre-assessments will be listed in the enrollment packet.

Step 4 – Apply for Admission to Southern State

For more information about enrolling at Southern State, visit Apply for Admission.

Students may also apply for financial aid which is available to those who qualify. For more information, visit Apply for Financial Aid.

Course Descriptions

CJUS 1102 – Basic Law Enforcement I

8 credits

This course covers the first 16 weeks of the 26 week program. The student will learn the technical and social skills needed to perform in the area of law enforcement. There is an increasing demand for better educated law enforcement personnel so the successful student can expect job opportunities as a peace officer. This program is offered in conjunction with the Greenfield Police Department. This is a state certifying academy and is conducted under the guidelines mandated by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

CJUS 1103 – Basic Law Enforcement II

8 credits

This course is the last 10 weeks of the 26 week program. The student will further develop technical and social skills needed to perform in the area of law enforcement.


Robin Roche

  • Rank: Ret. Chief, Currently Auxiliary Patrol Officer
  • Academy Attended: Hocking Technical College (1975)
  • Earned Degrees: A.A.S., B.S. in Public Safety Management, M.A. Criminal Justice
  • Earned Certifications: Basic Peace Officer Training Unit Instructor, Basic Peace Officer Training School Commander, Private Security Unit Instructor, Private Security Academy Commander, Jailer Basic Training Unit Instructor and Jailer Basic Training Academy Commander
  • Honors/Awards/Recognition: Southern State Community College Distinguished Alumi Award (1999), A.A.S. Graduated Cum Laude from Southern State Community College, B.S. Graduated Summa Cum Laude from Franklin University
  • Years with Academy: 21


Carl Alexander

  • Academy Attended: Reynoldsburg (1975)
  • Earned Degrees: B.S. The Ohio State University
  • Years with Academy: 6

Daniel Benkiel

  • Earned Degrees: B.A. Psychology, M.S. Rehabilition Counseling
  • Earned Certifications: Licensed Social Worker – State of Ohio
  • Honors/Awards/Recognition: Various Community Service Awards including William Pitstick Community Service Award, Ohio Attorney General Exemplary Service Award, Highland County Victim/Witness Assistance Program Volunteer of the Year, Highland County V/W.A.P. - 19 Years Distinguished Service Award
  • Years with Academy: 17

Mark Brewer

  • Rank: Deputy Sheriff Road Patrol
  • Academy Attended: Southern State Community College (1998)
  • Earned Certifications: OPOTA Instructor, Taser Instructor, Nix Drug Testing Instructor, NASRO School Resource Officer
  • Honors/Awards/Recognition: 2007 Deputy of the Year, 3 Life Saving Awards, Merit Award for Special Assignments, Nominated for School Resource Officer of the Year National Award
  • Years with Academy: 5

Brian Carlson

  • Rank: Special Agent-in-Charge (BCI)
  • Academy Attended: Madison County, London (1985)
  • Earned Degrees: B.A. Criminology
  • Earned Certifications: DEA Drug Commander, Numerous Staff and Federal Classes
  • Honors/Awards/Recognition: BCI Superintendents Award
  • Years with Academy: 3.5

David Faulkner

  • Rank: Sergeant
  • Academy Attended: The Ohio State University (1990)
  • Earned Certifications: Strategic Air Command Non-Commissioned Offices, OPOTA – Instructional Skills, Financial Investigative Techniques, S.T.O.P.S., Coast Guard, Boating Skills, and Seamanship, Firearms Instructor and Requalification Officer
  • Honors/Awards/Recognition: Officer of the Year 1997, Safe Driving Citation 2004
  • Years with Academy: 20

Ronold Fithen

  • Rank: Sergeant
  • Academy Attended: OSP (1992)
  • Earned Degrees: A.S. Law Enforcement (SSCC) and B.S. Criminal Justice Administration (Columbia Southern U.)
  • Earned Certifications: Numerous
  • Honors/Awards/Recognition: Wilmington F.O.E. Officer of the Year 1995, President of Clinton County Leadership Institute 2011
  • Years with Academy: 10

Eric Gerber

  • Earned Degrees: Physical Education: Exercise Science, B.S. Kinesiology
  • Earned Certifications: American Council on Exercise Personal Training Certification since 1992
  • Years with Academy: 4

Kenneth Holliday

  • Earned Degrees: M.S. Health and Sport Science
  • Years with Academy: 12

Brian Prickett

  • Rank: Chief Deputy Clinton County S.O.
  • Academy Attended: Green County Law Enforcement Academy (1984)
  • Earned Degrees: A.S. Law Enforcement (SSCC)
  • Earned Certifications: Peace Officer, Corrections Officer, Jail Administrator, Graduate FBI National Academy Session 235
  • Years with Academy: 2

Edwin Schmid

  • Rank: (Ret.) Sergeant (MTPD) / Captain (FPD)
  • Academy Attended: Lebanon Police Academy (1978)
  • Earned Degrees: A.S. Law Enforcement
  • Earned Certifications: Unit Instructor (OPOTA), Crime Prevention Specialist
  • Honors/Awards/Recognition: Life Saving Award, Officer of the Year 2003
  • Years with Academy: 19

Shawn Smith

  • Rank: Parole Officer, State of Ohio, Adult Parole Authority
  • Academy Attended: Southern State Community College (1999)
  • Earned Degrees: B.A. Criminal Justice, Sociology Minor (U. of Findlay)
  • Earned Certifications: Unarmed Self-Defense, OC, and Firearms Instructor for The Adult Parole Authority
  • Years with Academy: 10

Jennifer Swackhamer

  • Rank: Deputy
  • Academy Attended: Greenfield Basic Peace Officers Academy (2004)
  • Earned Certifications: Basic Peace Officers Training Academy, Corrections Academy
  • Years with Academy: 5

Nicholas Thompson

  • Rank: Chief of Police
  • Academy Attended: Waverly Police Academy (1978)
  • Honors/Awards/Recognition: Pistol Master Award
  • Years with Academy: 20

Joseph Williams

  • Rank: Special Deputy Meigs County, Retired from Columbus
  • Academy Attended: Columbus Police (1971)
  • Earned Degrees: Associates (Columbus State)
  • Years with Academy: 1.5


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