TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) – It’s one of the first things future police officers have to learn, how to properly cuff and restrain someone. They also have to know self defense tactics .
The Tupelo Police Department is hosting the Junior Police Academy. For two weeks, 16 young people, ages 14 to 17 live at the North Mississippi Law Enforcement Training Academy, taking a break for the weekend. They learn about all aspects of law enforcement.
“We’re able to teach them a little bit about the academy, the job and let them see the different divisions we have in the department so we hope to peak some interest and hopefully they will go to school and want to be a law enforcement officer here in Tupelo,” said Chief Tony Carleton.
Participants are divided into four squads, each with specific responsibilities and duties.
“One does the grounds, the second does classroom and office the third does barracks and fourth does kitchen and that is our responsibility to have them clean and set up way officers want them,” said Cadet Jayla Sanders.
For more hands on experience, cadets were brought to the firing range, where they learned a lot. For instance, that visitors have to wear one of these 40 pound bullet proof vests . They also saw a lot of the training regarding gun safety that police officers have to go through.
“We’re not teaching them necessarily how to shoot or anything like that, we’re teaching them how to shoot safely and that’s the main thing,” said Eric Grissom, instructor.
Cadets say they have learned a lot about another crucial aspect of police work.
“Teamwork and to help your friends out whenever they’re going through anything, you help them and they can help you,” said Cadet Blake Gross.
This class may be winding down, but the lessons learned will be remembered for years to come.