College of San Mateo unveils county’s first police academy

Students at the College of San Mateo's police academy will begin classes today in a new campus building that will serve as their first stable home on the Peninsula.

For years, those students have shuttled from place to place: first the San Mateo Expo Center, then Ohlone College in Fremont, then a spot on the CSM campus.

“We've been kicked out of a lot of places,” said Mark Raffaelli, police chief of South San Francisco, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday.

The new building cost nearly $4 million to construct, about $2 million of which came from a 2001 bond measure raising $207 million for improvements at CSM, Skyline College and Cañada College.

Another $2 million came from local donors, including Genentech and Oracle, and $1 million was contributed by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The building is named for Gordon Moore's father, Walter H. Moore, a one-time constable of Pescadero who served as the sole law officer west of Skyline Boulevard in his 30-year career.

San Mateo County Sheriff Don Horsley says training new officers close to home will provide an opportunity forofficers to build relationships with one another that turn into lifelong career partnerships.

“We used to send [cadets] to Butte County, to Los Angeles, even to San Jose, but they didn't come back with the same kind of camaraderie,” Horsley said.

In addition to housing the police academy, the 9,244-square-foot building provides space for county law enforcement training and features a monument, built by V. Fontana and Co., honoring police officers killed in the line of duty.

bwinegarner@examiner.com

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