Alum, current student navigate police academy together


Danielle Livingston

After coincidentally signing up at the same time, Joseph Van Oss, senior criminal justice major, and Cody Manders, 2015 Lakeland alum, bonded during their training at police academy, which took place at Fox Valley Technical College.

Danielle Livingston, Managing Editor

Joseph Van Oss, senior criminal justice major, walked to the doors of Fox Valley Technical College for his first day of police academy May 29 when he noticed Cody Manders, a 2015 Lakeland alum  who majored in criminal justice and sociology, was also attending the academy.

Manders and Van Oss had not planned to attend police academy together. For the next 13 weeks, they would spend eight hours a day together learning various skills.

Some of the topics they explored were firearm training, tactical driving, constitutional law, and defense and arrest tactics.

The subject Manders enjoyed the most was learning defense and arrest tactics. Manders stated that they “put on heavily padded suits and received hands on training.”

Van Oss preferred learning tactical driving. Van Oss enjoyed the adrenaline rush he got when they “got to drive squad cars—especially the lights and sirens, working as a team and driving high speeds next to other vehicles.”

The police academy graduation ceremony began with lunch. Families laughed and looked on to the students that would be honored that day.

After the meal, speeches were made by the class president, a co-director of the academy and a local police chief. Then the graduates were called up to receive their diplomas and certificates.

After the ceremony was over, Van Oss and Manders asked to get their picture together, a small Lakeland family a little far from home.

Both Van Oss and Manders are searching for jobs at police departments. Manders has finished the physical and written exams portion of the hiring process and is hoping to work as a college campus security officer until he is hired as a police officer.

Van Oss has applied to a few departments, finished the written tests and completed one interview. He is waiting to hear back from that department.