Ben Clark Training Center is closed to the public

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department suspended the academy training program at the Ben Clark Training Center on Thursday, Nov. 19,due to several recruits testing positive for COVID-19, according to a news release issued Saturday,

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department is working with Public Health and following the appropriate isolation and quarantine measures. During this suspension, the department will be thoroughly disinfecting the academy and any area in which the staff and recruits have access.

In an effort to mitigate further exposure to COVID-19, the Ben Clark Training Center is closed to the public and all academy staff has been reduced, allowing non-critical staff to telecommute.

Once training resumes, recruits will continue the following practices in an effort to slow the spread: social distancing, daily temperature checks, masks mandated at all times unless performing physical activity, cleaning and disinfecting classroom areas and hand-washing during every break.

The Department will also modify its recruit testing and training schedules to accommodate social distancing restrictions.

The Ben Clark Training Center offers comprehensive law enforcement, fire, and correctional custody public safety training.

Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center (BCTC) was made possible by the realignment of March Air Force Base.  In November 1995 the Joint Powers Authority (JPA) identified acreage in the western portion of the base as “…reserved to create a Riverside County Sheriffs Training Academy.” The area encompasses approximately 400 acres and includes buildings and facilities which were home to the former non–commissioned Officers Academy and the 15th Air Force Headquarters.

The vision of an integrated public safety training facility was realized in 1996, when the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (now CALFIRE)/Riverside County Fire Department entered into a formal alliance with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department at the time March Air Force Base was being realigned from an active military base to a reserve base, according to the Center’s website.

The location was designated the Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center (BCTC) by resolution of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors on September 24, 1996. CALFIRE/Riverside County Fire Department and Riverside County Sheriff’s Department training programs were moved to the BCTC in the same year. A facility management team with key representatives of each agency was organized to provide oversight and direction for the new facility.

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