Has it been 10 months already since I showed up at Rio Hondo College for an informational meeting on their police academy program, with an eye toward becoming an “animal cop?”

Yep.

And about nine months since I took the written exam.

And eight and a half months since the physical agility test kicked my out-of-shape ass.

A couple weeks after that ordeal, I was notified by academy personnel that my combined scores were good enough to get me an invite to be a candidate for the scheduled class. An orientation was slated for the latter part of September with the class planned to commence in November, pending the go ahead from the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST), the state organization that overseas such law enforcement programs.

Then things slowed down. First the recently hired academy director surprised everyone by quitting. That pretty much threw the program into disarray and forced the cancellation of the September orientation and brought a letter stating that all candidates should sit tight, fingers were crossed in hopes things would get going soon, but probably later.

In November the newly hired director sent out an email introducing himself, and expressed tentative confidence that springtime was doable. Then came December, January, February and March, and no news.

So I wrote the director last month and asked for an update and reiterated my interest in being a member of that class, but that the window was closing. He wrote back appreciating my patience and saying they’d just had a final visit from the POST people and while things were still not set at least they were looking hopeful to happen sooner rather than later.

I’ve been hedging and holding on through these months, but after that I finally drew my line in the sand. Rio Hondo had to the end of this month to get things set. If May 1 came and there was no news than I was done with that dream of becoming a duly sworn and authorized Humane Law Enforcement officer.

An email from Rio Hondo College Police Academy came today that opened with:

GREAT NEWS! We have been given official POST approval to present the Module III class. Module III will start on Wednesday evening 06/06/12 and end on 08/08/12.

I’m not sure if I’ll have the distinction of being the oldest incoming Rio Hondo College Police Academy recruit, but I’m willing to find out. So here we go.