Wall need only pass two tests

Sheriff's candidate can get peace officer certification

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Election 2006

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— Gary Wall can get certified as a peace officer by passing a written exam and a skills test, the man who oversees the certification said Friday.

John Kammer-zell, Colorado's director of Peace Officer Standards and Training, or POST, said former officers whose certification has lapsed can renew it by passing the tests. The written exam is given monthly at various sites. The skills test is given about six times a year at different sites. The skills exam covers arrest control tactics, firearms proficiency and driving, among other skills.

Wall, a private investigator, is the Democratic nominee for Routt County sheriff. In the 1970s, he served as a police officer in Aspen and as police chief in Vail. His POST certification lapsed in 1982, three years after he left Vail to enter private business.

Republican candidate Garrett Wiggins had suggested that it could take months of training for Wall to get certified. Gary Cure, assistant executive director of County Sheriffs of Colorado, said it typically takes three months.

But Kammerzell said that since 2003, those who were previously certified can get re-certified much quicker. He said an 88-hour "refresher academy" is offered but is not mandatory for officers trying to get re-certified. The refresher academy is offered several times a year. It takes two weeks to complete the course, he said.

The refresher academy also can be taken online through Arapahoe Community College, Kammerzell said.

Colorado sheriffs must be POST certified. Newly elected sheriffs who are not already certified must get their certifications within a year of taking office. A sheriff can apply for a one-year extension.

Wall said he is confident he will pass the written exam and skills test. He said Kammerzell recommended taking the refresher academy and that he likely will follow that advice. The next refresher course is in January.

"I have a year to get certified," Wall said. "I've stayed current on the laws, so I don't think it will be a problem. And I have the skills.

"(Kammerzell) said taking the refresher course will just make things easier, and I most likely will take that option."

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