Posted on Aug 6, 2013 in Campus News and News
The Association hosted a dinner Thursday, Aug. 1 for 125 cadets, instructors and leaders of the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center, which KU has operated for more than 40 years in Yoder, 12 miles south of Hutchinson. Lynn Loveland, the Association’s assistant director for Kansas programs, and Teri Harris, director of membership, traveled to the KLETC to celebrate the cadets’ graduation, thank them for their service to Kansas communities, welcome them to the Jayhawk network and encourage them to get involved with their local alumni chapter. Since 2011, the Association has hosted two events each year in Yoder.
KLETC director Ed Pavey was the featured speaker, answering a question common among many alumni: How did the University of Kansas become involved in police training? When the Kansas Legislature created KLETC in 1968 as the central headquarters for all law enforcement training in Kansas, legislators needed someone to provide organizational oversight. The decision was easy. KU had been involved in law enforcement training since the mid-1940s through the University’s Governmental Research Unit. Police officers from across Kansas had traveled to the Lawrence campus to attend training sessions and workshops that focused on topics including homicide investigation, crowd control, traffic collisions and other important law enforcement topics.
Once the decision was made that KU’s Division of Continuing Education would oversee police training in Kansas, the question became: Where should the training center be located?
To get up and running quickly, the center needed classroom and office space, as well as dormitory-style lodging that could be used immediately. Buildings on the former U.S. Naval Air Station located 12 miles southeast of Hutchinson were available, and the U.S. government advised the University that two buildings on the base grounds could be used with little renovation: They had been used during World War II and the Korean War for classroom instruction and dormitory housing for U.S. Navy pilots in training.
KU established KLETC in 1969, and the campus has continued to grow. Two new dormitory buildings that house 231 officers were constructed in 1998 and 2009. The center also features a state-of-the-art Emergency Vehicle Operations Driver Training Facility named after Robert J. Senecal, retired dean of KU Continuing Education, a 16-station firearms range and adjacent shotgun range, a crime scene house, a tactical shooting house, 15 classrooms and an 800-seat auditorium that can be divided into three separate training venues. The KLETC campus now spans 173 acres.
More than 400 officers from across Kansas are trained annually in basic programs. In addition, more than 5,000 veteran officers attend KLETC-provided or sponsored continuing education programs each year.
The KU Alumni Association is proud to support the KLETC by hosting a congratulatory banquet for new graduates of the training program.