LCCC Police Academy Named a STAR Police Training Academy by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, center, poses with LCCC Police Academy cadets and LCCC Police Commander Richard Thomas, left, and LCCC President Marcia J. Ballinger, Ph.D., right.

by Kim Carrasquillo

Lorain County Community College Police Academy is now a STAR Academy Training Center, the top designation for Ohio police academies. Ohio Attorney Dave Yost visited LCCC on Thursday to present the award.

The STAR Academy Training Center program, designed by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission (OPOTC), sets criteria that has been identified as factors in high-quality training.

“LCCC is the number one training location in Lorain County for first responders, and that includes our police academy,” said Marcia J. Ballinger, Ph.D. “With rigorous standards that go well above the requirements, cadets graduate prepared to serve our local communities.”

Yost said he was impressed with the LCCC Police Academy’s commitment to exceeding standards, long before the STAR award became available.

“Great police work starts with proper training,” Yost said. “The LCCC Police Academy embodies the gold standard training that other academies should strive to achieve.”

To earn the STAR Academy Training Center award, police academies must meet at least a dozen additional criteria points beyond the minimum training required by OPOTC – a benchmark that the LCCC Police Academy routinely exceeds.

The LCCC Police Academy training includes 845 hours of classroom and tactical training – over 100 hours more than is required by OPTC. Other areas in which the LCCC Police Academy exceeds standards include both mandatory and optional criteria, such as periodic academic assessments, written discipline policy, instructor evaluations, certification exam pass rates, number of instructors and cadet skills that include communication, community relations, de-escalation, officer wellness and additional certifications.

LCCC Police Commander Richard Thomas said the academy is designed to test the mental and physical fortitude of cadets – and build the skills they will need in their careers.

“The role of police officer is difficult and complex. Our cadets must rise to the challenge of our program so that they are well prepared to respond to needs of the communities they will serve,” said LCCC Police Commander Richard Thomas. “Receiving the STAR Award is wonderful recognition of this level of training and we will continue to take our training to the next level.”

The reputation of the program as one of the most challenging in Ohio draws many cadets to apply.

“I love that it’s rigorous and all-consuming. It really tests every aspect of your character,” said Daniel Ortiz, a 21-year-old cadet from Lorain. Ortiz is the first cadet to receive the Benjamin G. and Sarah Jane Norton Police Academy Scholarship, which covers the full cost of his program.

Now in its 20th year, the LCCC Police Academy has graduated more than 670 well-trained officers, with the majority finding employment with local law enforcement agencies.

The next class of the police academy begins in January 2023. Applications will be available in September. For more information, visit

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