LANCASTER – Vanessa Cromie enrolled in Antelope Valley College’s inaugural sheriff’s training academy because she wanted to make a difference. A single mother of two, Cromie said she had to keep reminding herself of that goal as she ran wind sprints in the early morning hours on frost-coated fields or during boxing and grappling drills that left her exhausted. “There’s no room for failure,” she recalls telling herself repeatedly. “I will succeed.” Her perseverance has paid off. Sgt. Dave Miklos, who heads the academy, said training future Antelope Valley deputies locally will benefit the community from a public safety standpoint. He said most Antelope Valley deputies live in the area, which isn’t the case everywhere. More importantly, he said the creation of the academy illustrates the department’s commitment to Antelope Valley law enforcement. “(Baca) knows that there’s a large pool of recruits from this area that he wants to draw from,” Miklos said. “If you live in the community you work in, you have more of an incentive to take care of business.” Sheriff’s Deputy Don Rubio, who’s also involved in the cadet training, said the program will create opportunities for prospective recruits who otherwise might not consider it. He said before the academy at AVC, Antelope Valley residents spent four hours commuting to Whittier. “That just multiplied the stress level for them,” Rubio said. “Now they have more of a comfort zone being close to home, and they have more time to think and study.” Cromie said she isn’t sure how she’d have gotten through the program if she had to commute, noting that she probably wouldn’t have made it without her family helping her care for her two daughters, Kaylin, 4, and Kiara, 1. And although she acknowledged that she’s concerned about juggling parenting and a law-enforcement career, she continues to remind herself of the words that got her through the academy in the first place. “If my kids go to school here, I want to help keep the area as safe as I can,” Cromie said. “Any single parent out there who wants to do it, you can do it,” she said. “You can achieve anything if you’re willing to put in the work.” [email protected] (661) 267-7802 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Cromie, a former Palmdale High track and field and cross country standout, is among 42 cadets who will receive California peace officer certificates in a graduation ceremony Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Lancaster Performing Arts Center. All but one of the cadets is enrolled in Los Angeles County’s sheriff’s training program. The other is in Los Angeles Unified Police School. State Sen. George Runner, R-Lancaster, who’s scheduled to speak at the ceremony, and Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca are among 100 or so dignitaries who’ve been invited. The AVC program is the newest of six such academies in the county. Four are held in Whittier, and the other is at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita. The AVC academy was created amid a push to recruit more deputies, who are needed to fill vacancies in fast-growing areas such as the Antelope Valley.