Commission Suspends Operations at 2 Police Academies

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AUSTIN –The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement will suspend operations at the Lower Rio Grande Valley Police Academy and Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office Police Academy.

The suspensions are in effect as of today. 

A TCOLE spokeswoman said allegations of excessive force and improper training techniques prompted an investigation that started May 19.

A video surfaced online showing a trainer striking cadets in the nose, full force, with an open hand and others, including female cadets being slammed to the ground.

TCOLE Director of Government Relations Gretchen Grigsby couldn’t speak about the allegations. She said the complaints include the videos.

Today, memos went out to the academies notifying them of the suspension, pending the outcome of this investigation. Cadets currently enrolled in programs at these academies will be allowed to finish the course, under strict TCOLE supervision. However, no new classes will be allowed, pending the investigation.

“We are charged with ensuring that law enforcement is both highly trained and ethical, and we want to make sure the public is protected by individuals that have been well trained and well prepared to carry out their duties as a peace officer or county jailer or telecommunicator,” Grigsby said.

TCOLE oversees about 105 academies statewide including three others in Brownsville, Pharr and McAllen.

Grigsby couldn’t confirm any one individual is being investigated. She said right now the investigation is focused on the overall practices.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS reached out to several police departments who use the academies. They said they’re working alongside TCOLE in the investigation.

Anyone who wants to file a complaint on any law enforcement academy can do so via the TCOLE website