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-By David Rainville, Recorder Staff

(413) 772-0261 Ext. 279

Since 2012, the 14-week Franklin County Reserve Intermittent Police Training Academy has offered officer training at a deep discount.  The Academy costs $500 per student, much less than a similar $1,400 academy in Springfield.

Police trainees Eric Maloney and Ben Goody, of Orange, practice CPR with their fellow students of the Franklin County Reserve Intermittent Police Training Academy in the Franklin County House of Correction in Greenfield.

The current program has more than two dozen students who are eager to begin or advance their careers in law enforcement.

"I'm going to use this as a stepping stone," said student Eric Maloney of Orange.   

Maloney currently works as a Corrections Officer in the Franklin County House of Correction.  Once he's completed the course, he will be eligible to become deputized.

"Becoming a deputy opens up more positions in the jail, as well as outside details, transportation of inmates and work in the community," said Ben Goody, a classmate and coworker of Maloney's.

Deputy Sheriffs can also help police outside of the jail - something Corrections Officers can't do.

In addition to becoming deputized, Goody and Maloney intend to apply for part-time police work.

Robert Ouimet, of Worcester, is attending the Academy while he takes a break from criminal justice courses at Mount Wachusett Community College in Gardner.

"My dream job is to become a fulltime officer on the Worcester Police Department," Ouimet said.

In the meantime though, he'll take what he can get.

"I'm willing to work anywhere to give police work a shot; I'm not picky."

Corrections Officer and academy student Ruben Mercado is excited to become deputized.

"I joined the Academy because it will give me a chance to do more service for the Sheriff's Office," he said.

He's also eager to begin working outside of the jail, whether he's assisting police, bringing inmates to community service or helping with the Sheriff's Department's TRIAD elder outreach program.

"I want to be able to respond to help care for others whether I'm on or off-duty," he said.  "With first responder training, I feel confident that, if things go south, I'll be able to help."

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