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Police, Sheriff’s Office To Have Combined Academies

A couple days after El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen had choice words for Sheriff’s deputies that might have to do police work, the city has ordered police to combine its academy with the sheriff’s office’s training academy.

The move is expected to save city tax-payers about $250,000 each year, as it did when the two agencies combined academies in 2003 and 2004.

“You have to psychologicially prepare someone for this job, and that’s where, philosophically, I think, the sheriff’s dept, in some respects, doesn’t come to those standards,” Allen said at a city budget hearing on Monday.

Wiles deflected the criticism.

“To suggest any officer or deputy trained at either facility is not prepared for the field is irresponsible and subjects the agencies to unfounded criticism,” Wiles said in a statement.

Wiles, when he was police chief in 2003, praised the combined academy, but also admitted there was tension between the agencies.

“Sometimes I think we have some unhealthy animosity that I think could occur because we really don’t understand each others’ roles, but going through training together and facing the obstacles that they’re going to have to face together will build strong relationships between both departments that will last forever,” Wiles said in 2003.

But El Paso Police pulled out of the joint academy after only two year. When asked why the Police Department left the shared academy, a spokesman cited ‘evaluation differences’.

The Sheriff’s Office would like to put this week’s harsh words behind them.

“Things were said, unfortunately, but we have to continue forward and work together,” Sheriff’s Deputy Jesse Tovar said.

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