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Making a positive impact at the jail

Posted: Friday, Mar 15, 2024
Basic Detention Academy graduate Hailey Lowe stands during the Basic Detention Academy graduation Friday, March 8 in the Edminster Student Union Building at NIC.

North Idaho College celebrated the graduation of five recruits from its Basic Detention Academy Friday, March 8 in the Edminster Student Union Building at NIC.

“The academy is a process of growth and we will continue to learn and get better,” Basic Detention Academy Class President Chad Ryan said during the ceremony. “We’re looking forward to working with our new teammates and making a positive impact at the jail.”

Ryan praised the ability of his classmates and thanked the instructors and current law enforcement professionals who helped instill that mindset of continuing to learn after graduation.

The five recruits, who all work for the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, completed a nine-week basic technical certificate program that teaches in-depth skills and knowledge required to be corrections officers.

The Basic Detention Academy takes place in the classroom, mat room, Kootenai County Sheriff's Office jail facilities, and other off-site locations. The curriculum covers cell searches, ethics, Idaho Jail Standards, report writing, and more.

“This program gives more training, and in my humble opinion, turns out a better product than any other detention academy in the state,” said Basic Detention Academy coordinator, Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Chris Wagar.

Other ceremony speakers were NIC President Nick Swayne, Kootenai County Sheriff Robert Norris, and Sheriff’s Office Chaplain John McSwain.

The NIC Basic Detention Academy is designed in a paramilitary academy format and accredited by the Idaho Peace Officers Standards and Training Council. Class meets five days a week for eight or more hours per day.

The program opened last year after NIC and the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office discussed starting a local academy due to the high cost of sending recruits to southern Idaho for training.

“It’s a huge cost-saving program for the community and by having this program here, it really adds to the safety of the community,” Swayne said.

For information, contact NIC Law Enforcement Administrative Assistant Katie Costanzo at or (208) 665-4522.

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