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23 guards train to become Lucas Co deputies

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LUCAS COUNTY, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Thursday was graduation night for the Basic Peace Officer Academy at Owens Community College.

Twenty three Lucas County Sheriff's Department jail guards attended the academy on their own time and at their own expense for nine months. They'll now be sworn-in law enforcement officers, allowing them to bid on job openings in the sheriff's department in the detective bureau, road patrol or courthouse security.

"It gives them the opportunity to help them in their career ladder. This is a step to them," said Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp. "They did it on their own. They have fire in their belly and every one of them came out and didn't miss a day and completed this on their own."

Other jail guards have gone to the academy on their own dime and time, but never such a large group.

"I was ready for the next point in my career and to move on and represent the sheriff in a positive way," said Deputy Sheriff Lucas Blakeman.

"I'd like to get out on the road or go to the courts," added Deputy Sheriff Christopher Turner.

This big Basic Peace Academy Class is also good for Lucas County's budget. Sheriff Tharp says it obviously comes at no cost to the county and will save taxpayers $250,000 over a 10-year period.

"Now the county will not have to send these corrections officers to deputy school when we lose road officers and detectives. They will already be deputies," Sheriff Tharp said.

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