ARDMORE, Okla. (KTEN) — The process for becoming a peace officer in the State of Oklahoma is now easier for trainees at Southern Tech and other locations.

Anyone over the age of 21 with no felonies who wants to pursue a career in law enforcement can do so at Southern Tech through its partnership with the Ada-based Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training.

"Our academies are full," said CLEET assistant director Earl Morrison. "It's just another avenue to get officers trained and on the street. If these career techs weren't doing this training, they would have to wait longer."

While becoming a peace officer is one career path, it's not the only avenue open after going through this program.

"There is anything from tribal law enforcement to local agencies and municipalities and sheriff's departments in the counties," said Billy Turner, the Basic Police Officer Certification coordinator at Southern Tech.

A big change to the process in CLEET training gives participants the opportunity to pass courses and choose a desired department in any location in Oklahoma.

"They're not using a department to get certified and then moving to somewhere else, so we're hoping the retention in our smaller agencies and our larger agencies, we're hoping that'll be good."

The hope is that easing the process will help fill vacant law enforcement positions with CLEET-certified personnel. 

Call Billy Turner at Southern Tech at 580-223-2070 for more information about the training program.