Lieutenant Sammy Berzoza
The Training Unit is a vital component in any professional organization. Lieutenant Sammy Berzoza, training coordinator, also oversees all aspects of training and is assisted by Training Sergeant Stephen Merrell, Assistant Training Coordinator Deborah DeVolin and Firearms Training Sergeant - Range Master, Sergeant Carlos Chavez.
The Training Unit is responsible for providing professional development and maintaining training requirements mandated by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) by providing continuous in-Service training, as well as strict adherence to standards during sessions of the Odessa Police Academy.
All sworn officers of the Odessa Police Department undergo the annual firearms training mandated by TCOLE.
In addition, officers are regularly trained on the use of police rifles, less than lethal alternatives to force and defensive tactics.
The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement granted the Odessa Police Department a license on March 4, 2010, and the first session of the Odessa Police Department Police Academy began August 2, 2010. The Odessa Police Academy advisory board consists of seven (7) civilian members of the community.
The Odessa Police Academy is held at the Odessa Police Department. The normal training hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. However, some tactical training require various hours that cannot be conducted during normal academy hours. Recruits attending the academy are required to complete a minimum of 23 weeks in order to successfully complete the academy. The Odessa Police Academy requires attendees to meet the high standards expected for a Texas Law Enforcement Officer. Physical fitness will be an essential component of training, as will defensive tactics.
The Academy operates on the Odessa Police Department calendar and will require discipline and decorum in all settings. The Academy will pair a rigorous academic curriculum with a paramilitary structure and environment to prepare recruits to serve their community as exemplary law enforcement personnel.
Recruit(s) and students attending the Odessa Police Academy are required to complete 40 hours of firearm proficiency training. Training will include day and night time qualifications with handguns and shotguns. Students will go through familiarization training with rifles and complete simulation training utilizing the Modular Armored Tactical Combat House (MATCH). All Odessa Police Academy recruits must qualify with either the 9mm, 40mm, or 45mm caliber semi-automatic pistol prior to graduating. TCOLE requires that all Odessa Police Officers re-qualify annually.
Applications for enrollment to the Odessa Police Department Police Academy are taken from an eligibility list obtained from the hiring process for the Police Recruit position. For detailed information about requirements and the application process, please visit the Employment page of our website.
The Odessa Police Academy Session #15 is scheduled to begin on Monday, July 10 and will end on Thursday, December 14, 2017. Classes are normally from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday involving classroom as well as physical training, and will be held at the Odessa Police Academy classroom located at 205 N. Grant Ave.
If you want to apply for employment as a police recruit through the City of Odessa website and are hired, the Academy fees will be paid by the police department. For more information regarding employment, contact Paula Waldrop at 432-335-3323.
If you are interested in attending only the Academy (not employment), you must be 21 years of age by December 9, 2017. If you work for another law enforcement agency (agency-sponsored) or you wish to apply yourself (self-sponsored), application packets will be available Tuesday, May 2 through Friday, June 2, 2017 at 3 pm. You must email Deborah DeVolin, Assistant Training Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org. An appointment will be scheduled for you to pick up the application packet and review the requirements and application process.
The cost to attend the Academy is $1,000.00 which includes books, supplies, equipment, uniforms, ammunition, the TCOLE exam and other items. Additional costs which applicants pay directly to the providers, in the approximate amount of $800, will be incurred by applicants for a background check, polygraph exam, physical exam, drug screen, vision test, psychological exam, one-half mile run in five minutes or less, physical endurance test, entry level general examination and reading comprehension test. You must also pass an interview with the Administrative Lieutenant.
The deadline for completion of the entire application process, and for payment of the $1,000.00 application fee at the Odessa Police Department, is no later than 3:00 p.m., Friday, June, 23, 2017. Acceptable forms of payment are cash, VISA, MasterCard, Discover, personal check, agency check, cashier check or money order payable to the City of Odessa.
Lieutenant Sammy Berzoza - Training Coordinator
Ms. Deborah Devolin - Assistant Training Coordinator
Sergeant Stephen Merrell - Training Sergeant
Sergeant Carlos Chavez - Range Master