Those closest to police academy recruits get training, taste of police life

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DENVER -- Many of us wonder what our spouses do at work all day. For police officer’s wives and husbands, days can be full of worry and anxiety.

For the newest batch of officers about to hit the streets in Denver, the police department offers spouses a chance to learn more about police work and their extensive training.

As part of our exclusive, ongoing series of reports called “Earning the Badge," we went behind the scenes of the Denver Police Spousal Academy.

For years, Nina Sellers fought her husband’s desire to sign up.

Recruit Brenton Sellers told us he'd "been wanting to do this for a long time.  The sticking point was my wife.”

Brenton Sellers went to work in the financial industry, while continuing to work on convincing his wife that joining the police force would be good for them.

“He would stop police officers on the street and ask them questions and just try to give me comfort," Nina Sellers said.  "We were downtown and foot traffic and he would stop officers and tell them ‘I really want to be a police officer.  Can you tell my wife a little bit about it?’”

“Finally she gave me the green light," Brenton Sellers said.  "She said ‘I’m worried about you,' but I have faith in training they will put me through.”

“I felt he wasn’t going to be content in an office job or anything like that," Nina Sellers said. "He needs to be out there helping others. That’s his passion and his calling. I decided to let him live his dream. Honestly, I had to pray about it. I prayed about it and felt at peace with it, so I went ahead and let him sign up.”

The timing could not have been better.

DPD is hiring it's first class of recruits in five years. Brenton Sellers got a spot.

So while Brenton Sellers spends days and nights studying for exams, learning the laws, and getting into shape; his wife got an idea of what he was going through.

Ten women and two men graduated from the Denver Police Spousal Academy earlier this month. The said they have a new understanding of the challenges of becoming a police officer.

“We would like to give them just a taste of that, from the law to driving to guns and arrest techniques," said Sgt. Jamie Smith.  "There’s so many factors we have to put the recruits through to send them out on the streets and be safe and make Denver safe.”

After passing the academy, Nina Sellers said she rests easier at night.

“Now that I’m in the spousal academy, a lot of my original concerns have gone away,”  she said.  “Well actually it made me almost want to be a police officer, just because of the connection and you just see how close everyone is.”

If you are interested in attending a Police/Military Spousal Academy, please send an email to dean.christopherson@denvergov.org.

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