BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The Kern County Regional Training Center Basic Academy graduated 21 new deputies and law enforcement officers on Friday.
The 2019-2020 class began in January with 37 candidates working towards completing a rigorous 24 week course to join various law enforcement agencies throughout Kern County.
Of the 37 candidates, 21 graduated. Five graduates are joining the Kern County Sheriff's Office. Three will be joining the Bakersfield Police Department.
Delano, Ridgecrest, Shafter and Taft will each gain one officer. Ten other graduates are currently in the hiring process.
The Kern County Sheriff's Office has struggled with recruitment and retention over the last 10 years. According to the Kern Law Enforcement Association, KCSO has lost 390 deputies to retirement or lateral moves in nine years.