Congratulations go out to Merced College alumnus Tim Slenders, who was recognized as the Top All-Around Cadet at the Fresno City College Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Academy graduation on July 15.

Slenders, 32, was working as a jail sergeant at the Adult Detention Facility with the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Department when he enrolled at Merced College to complete one of his remaining POST modules required of all full-time law enforcement officers by the State of California.

Sponsored by the Mariposa agency for his POST training, Slenders then went on to the academy at Fresno City College in January. There he completed the final module, which is only offered at full law enforcement academies.

Slenders, now a deputy sheriff on patrol in Mariposa, was also recognized for having the Top Law Enforcement Skills at his Fresno City College graduation.

David Noblett, a retired police officer and coordinator of the Criminal Justice Department at Merced College, was feeling particularly proud last week when he shared the news. Noblett has known Slenders since he was a youngster working his family’s dairy in Chowchilla.

Slenders was always one of the top scoring students during his time at Merced College last fall, Noblett said.

“Tim is one of those guys—quiet but very self-motivated,” Noblett said. “He knows what he wants. He is dedicated to a career in law enforcement and he has not let anything stop him.”

Slenders and the 33 other graduates had a delayed finish and delayed commencement after Fresno City had to suspend POST courses from March 16 to April 13 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They eventually finished the module and staged a small ceremony observing social distancing protocols.

Merced College offers two of the three total modules in the POST program.  Merced College normally produces 30+ graduates each year who can then do what Slenders did and matriculate to one of 41 law enforcement training academies in the state.

The POST program trains aspiring law enforcement officers in things like criminal law, investigations, patrol procedures, vehicle operations, traffic, first aid, professionalism and ethics, among others.

“Most of our cadets end up employed somewhere after training,” Noblett said. “Our program has had incredible success. And it’s down to the amazing instructors we have here who are truly dedicated to our cadets.”

Over half of 20 current Merced College POST instructors are active law enforcement officers, still working their own jobs before coming to campus to train the next generation. Merced College instructors range in experience, in current or final rank, from sergeant to chief.

Merced College trains people from all over the state and many alumni continue on to academies at Fresno City or San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton to complete their basic training.

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