Corrections Academy begins


The Department of Corrections has officially launched its 9th Cycle Corrections Academy with a total of 39 cadets that are tentatively set to graduate in September.

According to Corrections Commissioner Wally Villagomez, the 39 cadets are currently undergoing intensive physical and educational training, The academy officially begun last May 31.

The 39 cadets, nine of whom are women, went through a selection process, Villagomez said.

Through a partnership with Northern Marianas College, this year’s cadets will graduate with 40 college credits from NMC and will also have the opportunity to earn an associate degree if they choose to, Villagomez said.

The last time the department had an academy was back in 2019, he added.

Villagomez said the Corrections Academy will run for about three to four months, with a tentative graduation set for the first week of September.

Aside from DOC, the Saipan Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting is set to host its own academy sometime in July.

According to Phillip Aldan, assistant chief for ARFF, the department is currently looking for four officers out of the upcoming seven-month-long academy. These officers are expected to receive national certification as Firefighter 1 Firefighter 2, Airport Firefighter, Firefighter driver, and first responder.

Aldan said ARFF has already received around 40 applications but only 31 have successfully passed the physical fitness requirement to enter the academy.

“We started with 40 applicants and now we’re down to 31 with an expected launch date in July. The academy is expected to conclude sometime in October,” he said.

Aldan said this academy will heavily focus on the academics as officers are expected to gain national certification in order to join the force.

“The academy will be heavy academics. Like I said, all the certifications are national so the standards are a bit higher. It’s going to be focused on academics and there’s also going to be a lot of physical fitness,” Aldan said.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at

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