Academy History

The Academy is located west of Denver, at Interstate 70 and Golden Road. The Academy facilities include the main building, a nearby indoor firearms range, a driving track on the top of South Table Mountain, and G. R. Carrel Hall, a large classroom or meeting hall. The Colorado Law Enforcement Memorial is also located on the Academy grounds.


Camp George West On September 23, 1935 the very first class, consisting of forty-four men, reported to Camp George West.  They were given similar training to our current class, but the original session in 1935 was only five weeks in duration.  The first cadets lived in an encampment of army tents about one hundred yards west of the current facility.  They were all residents of Colorado and came to Golden from many areas of the State.  The new supervisors, as well as the Chief, had to be trained together since this was the first class.  Local law enforcement personnel and a Sergeant from the Michigan State Police comprised the original training staff.  Following classes also resided in tents, as did active members returning each year for updated training.  Recurrent training for members was called “annual encampment”.  Over the years the term was changed to in-servicetraining. 


The age of technology, computer science, and sophisticated crime information systems has increased the training time of recruits today. New areas such as Homeland Security have further increased the time required to train new Troopers. Increasing demands on the officers have required the Colorado State Patrol Training Academy to provide recurrent and specialized training for Troopers as well as for other agencies.


In addition to training, the Academy staff includes an administrative professional, food service managers for the cafeteria,and a building maintenance director. The following specialty sections/units are also located at the Academy:


New federal mandates require Troopers to be updated on hazardous material incidents and emergency response to disasters or terrorist attacks.  The Colorado State Patrol Training Academy has maintained cutting edge training for our Troopers and has assisted local community colleges with their police officer training programs. 



Troopers Due to population growth and highway improvements, the State Patrol outgrew its facilities at Camp George West by 1959.  The Academy was moved to Lowry Air Force Base in Denver.  One hundred new officers were hired that year in an attempt to meet the increasing demand on Colorado’s highways.  The Academy was again moved in 1963 to Buckley Air National Guard Base in Aurora.  Beginning in 1960, Governor Steven Mc Nichols and later Governor John Love, worked with several committees to form a new Colorado Law Enforcement Training Academy (C.L.E.T.A.).  The new Academy came under the direction of Local Affairs and was first established in 1965.   It wasn't until the spring of 1969 that a completely new facility was built back at Camp George West.  The Academy was divided into two sections;  C.L.E.T.A. for city police and sheriff’s deputies and the Colorado State Patrol Academy for patrolmen.  The division was necessary because a police or deputy class was five weeks in duration and the State Patrol class lasted twelve weeks.   The Chief of the Colorado State Patrol acted as superintendent of both Academies.  


In the late 1960’s the federal government established guidelines for police officer standards and training. The Colorado State Patrol Academy received its certificate of accreditation on September 13, 1974 from the newly established Colorado Board of Police Officers Standards and Training, also known as P.O.S.T. The document was signed by then Governor John Vanderhoof. Today the document is proudly on display in the administrative offices of the Academy.


For seventy-one years the goal of the Colorado State Patrol has been to provide the best and most current training possible. This enables graduates to use skills learned at the Academy to make the highways of Colorado safer. This provides a more pleasurable environment for Colorado’s citizens, tourists and commercial vehicles.


The seventy-first anniversary class will wear the same seven-point badge and the same colors of uniform as the original class of 1935. The motto, “Courteous but Firm”, has remained the same for seventy-one years. Some traits of the Colorado State Patrol have been too good to change – even with the passing of a seventy-one year history. These traits have firmly established State Patrol traditions that remain today.


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