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CHP academy shut down due to coronavirus, cadets told to do admin work

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Michael McGough
The Sacramento Bee

The California Highway Patrol in West Sacramento has suspended its academy and is sending recruits on their way home due to the growing coronavirus pandemic.

The current class of more than 170 cadets will report next Tuesday to CHP area offices near their hometowns and will work in administrative roles, the CHP said in a news release. Training will pause until it is safe to continue.

“The move is temporary,” the news release said. “As soon as the pandemic is over, the cadets will resume training where they left off.”

CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley announced the decision early Friday afternoon.

“While we have been making every effort to keep the cadets safe and healthy during their training these last few weeks, the best, and most responsible decision I can make to protect them is to send them home,” Stanley said in a prepared statement. “I cannot accept the risk that any one of the cadets or staff becomes ill and then be faced with having to quarantine the entire campus.”

The campus, located on more than 450 acres in the Yolo County city of West Sacramento, is a live-in facility where all CHP officers-in-training must complete 28 weeks of training before being assigned to CHP area offices throughout the state.

The current class at the academy has 79 “senior” and 98 “junior” cadets, according to Friday’s news release. The most recent graduation ceremony for the previous class of seniors was in late January.

The temporary closure of the CHP academy appears to be the first significant shutdown of activities directly involving law enforcement, which, as an essential public service, remains exempt from the statewide stay-at-home order issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday.

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