Regional Training Academy Establishes Foundation, to Host Inaugural Benefit

Virginia's Gateway Region- Gateway Insight Newsletter- April 7, 2016

The local regional training academy needs your help to continue training local law enforcement officers.

The Crater Criminal Justice Training Academy (CCJTA) has been preparing local police officers since 1975, but just recently started the Crater Training Academy Foundation (CTAF) to help secure needed funds.

“While funding has been steadily going down, law enforcement responsibilities have been steadily going up,” explained CCJTA Executive Director Jon Cliborne.

As an independent political subdivision of Virginia, CCJTA has seen significant decreases in annual funding from the state. CTFA was created in the fall of 2015 to fill new funding gaps and strengthen local law enforcement training.

The foundation allows citizens to donate directly to CCJTA, which trains officers locally, rather than any number of locations across the Commonwealth.

“You’re really able to impact your own community because your donation goes directly to your training academy,” Cliborne noted. Funding received through the foundation will be used to purchase necessary equipment to properly train officers.

The foundation is holding an Inaugural Benefit from 12:00 - 3:00 p.m. on April 30 to introduce both the training academy and foundation to the community. The event will be held at the CCJTA campus: 6130 County Dr, Disputanta, VA 23842.

“Our main goals for the event is public awareness, introducing what the academy is and what the foundation is to the community,” Cliborne said.

Moving forward, the foundation plans to host movie nights this summer as an opportunity for the public to see the academy and get acquainted with its mission. It will also be participating with Prince George County to participate in the county’s annual National Night Out in August.

The foundation is chaired by Colonial Heights’ C. Scott Davis, while Senator Rosalyn Dance serves as vice chair. Virginia’s Gateway Region Economic Development Organization President &CEO Renee Chapline also sits on the board of directors.

“When working with businesses and residents in and out of our region, safety is always a key concern,” said Chapline. “As regional economic developers, we experience first-hand that businesses prioritize locating in communities that are safe for their employees.”

To learn more about the CCJTA and CTAF, please visit:

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Crater Training Academy Foundation in the news...

Crater Criminal Justice Training Academy

hosts open house and benefit for newly formed foundation

By Alex Trihias
Staff Writer
Posted May. 2, 2016 @ 2:01 am

PRINCE GEORGE — The Crater Criminal Justice Training Academy hosted an inaugural benefit and open house for the Crater Training Academy Foundation on Saturday, that allowed the public to tour the building and grounds while learning about the Foundation’s goals and projects.

The family friendly event featured free hot dogs and chips, a firearms training simulator and demonstrations with drug and bomb dogs. Admission was free but donations to support the foundation were accepted.

“We’ve been working on a foundation formation for the academy probably for about five years,” said Foundation board chairman Scott Davis. “Then around this past January or December we actually got our designation from the IRS as a 501(c)3 nonprofit. This is our first event to try to just get awareness of the foundation and what we are.”

The foundation supports the academy and what it does while trying to bring awareness to the academy and the type of training that occurs there. It also wants to show what the academy provides for the region for all types of public safety through the open house event. Davis said that he wants people to see some of what is needed in order to get better training than what the academy has now, as well.

“That’s where we come into play as a foundation in order to raise money for them to have additional funds for capital projects for training,” Davis said.

The first major capital project for the academy would be to install a driver training track.

“When they have to teach police recruits driver training, they have to go somewhere other than here,” Davis said. “I want to say to rent a driver training track from places that have them is about $1,000 a day. By having that here, not only can we not have to go anywhere but they could also rent out their facility for that purpose.”

Artist renderings of potential sites on the academy grounds for the track were displayed in the multipurpose room during the open house.

The cost of the project would total somewhere between $2 million and $2.5 million

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The Progress Index

By Shelby Mertens
Staff Writer
Posted Mar. 29, 2016 @ 6:31 pm

 Regional law enforcement training academy to host first public event

The regional academy system trains approximately 88 perncet of Virginia's sworn law enforcement officials. The Crater Criminal Justice Training Academy in Prince George trains more than 1,000 officers each year. Photo courtesy of the Crater Criminal Justice Training Academy.

By Shelby Mertens
Staff Writer

Posted Mar. 29, 2016 @ 6:31 pm

PRINCE GEORGE — Many residents have noticed the signs for the Crater Criminal Justice Training Academy off County Drive, but those outside of law enforcement circles probably wouldn’t know that the regional training academies in the state train 88 percent of Virginia’s sworn officers.

Crater Training Academy has been training local police officers since 1975, with roots tracing back to 1971. The institution is part of a regional academy system in the state. Of the 40 training academies in Virginia, 10 are regional and 30 are independent. While there are less regional academies, they make up the bulk of officer training.

“We represent a wide cross-section of officers of different size departments all the way from departments as small as one person to departments as large as 400,” said Jon Cliborne, executive director of the Crater Criminal Justice Training Academy.

The Crater facility’s area of coverage takes a diamond shape, according to Cliborne, from as far north as Richmond, straight down I-95 to the Tri-Cities — which includes Petersburg, Hopewell Colonial Heights and Prince George — to as far south as Emporia and Greensville County, as far west as Powhatan and Amelia counties and as east as Southampton and New Kent counties.

Besides police officers, the academy also provides training for local sheriff’s offices and court security, dispatchers and animal control officers, with an officer population of about 1,800. Cliborne estimates that the Crater Academy trains a minimum of 1,000 officers in the region each year, which he said is a very conservative estimate. The academy offers both basic training and continuing training courses.

The facility is located adjacent to the Petersburg City Jail Farm Annex and the Crater Youth Detention Center on a 120-acre site that includes a firing range.

The academy’s mission is to train local law enforcement officers and instill them with “professionalism, integrity, compassion and fairness,” Cliborne said.

This past fall, the academy formed the Crater Training Academy Foundation as an effort to reach out to the community for support.

“The foundation was formed for the mission of supporting the activities of the training academy with local officials and stakeholders in partnership,” Cliborne said.

The foundation is the brainchild of C. Scott Davis, the chairman of the foundation’s board of directors and former mayor of Colonial Heights. Davis said the idea first occurred to him while he was the chief of police of Richard Bland College’s police department as a way for the community to support the academy.

Sen. Rosalyn Dance is the vice chairwoman of the board. Other board members include Renee Chapline of Virginia’s Gateway Region along with Colonial Heights Police Chief Jeffrey Faries and Fire Chief A.G. Moore Jr.

Davis said the foundation benefits the community by providing “better training and resources for our public safety.”

The foundation plans to host its inaugural benefit on Saturday, April 30 from noon to 3 p.m. This marks the foundation’s first public event, which will be structured like an open house, where the public is invited for the first time to tour the academy’s training facilities and classrooms.

A driver training simulator and firearms training simulator will be on hand at the event for the public to experience the practice training scenarios that recruits go through.

“We hope there’ll be food, games and different activities,” Cliborne said. “We’re hoping to make it a family-friendly event.”

The event is in effort to become more engagement in the Tri-Cities community.

“One of the issues we’ve had is that we never really had the need to advertise or engage in the community as an academy because normally our relationship with the public has been through our agencies in providing good, quality training,” Cliborne said. “The foundation brings a new dynamic to that because now the foundation wants community involvement, community support and community buy-ins.”

While national and state law enforcement organizations support officers across the board, Cliborne said the foundation gives citizens a chance to support their own public safety departments.

“All of those dollars are staying right here supporting this academy in supporting this area,” he said. “When people in Colonial Heights, Hopewell and Prince George support the foundation, they are really supporting the officers that are going to be directly affecting their communities.”

In the future, Cliborne said the foundation is considering hosting movie nights during the summer as well as being a site for National Night Out in August.

·  Shelby Mertens may be reached at 804-722-5154 or

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