Cadets in part time academy get full time training

Over the last few weeks, eleven cadets in the Monroe County Part Time Academy have learned different methods to enter a building, clearing rooms, and looking for a threat

MONROE COUNTY, MISS. (WCBI) – Over the last few weeks, eleven cadets in the Monroe County Part Time Academy have learned different methods to enter a building, clearing rooms, and looking for a threat

Cadets were able to sit in on a SWAT School, where we saw many of those techniques demonstrated. The class acted as decoys, role-playing in various scenarios.

Teams enter the building, clearing each room, sometimes finding a threat. NoNonlethalarking cartridges known as Simunition rounds are used, and they sting.

Captain John Bishop is the director of training for the part-time academy. He says the SWAT School session was a unique opportunity for cadets to see the value of training as a team.

“There are many critical incidents, or different types of incidents, that require a higher level of skill. We offer a basic platform for officers to get started, learning advanced skills, helping them to move to that next level,” Bishop said.

The class is learning the importance of Physical Training, or PT, as a group.

To graduate, each cadet must be able to complete a mile-and-a-half run, an agility run, and pushups. cadets must achieve, based on gender and age, a score of at least 70 percent on all three tests.

“An officer’s physical condition needs to be at a level where they can deal with stress like they need to and if an officer is not in a preferred condition, it can be detrimental to their safety and their partner’s safety,” Bishop said.

In the classroom, cadets have learned how to use the intoxilyzer, report writing, DUI law, domestic violence response, conflict management, and courtroom procedures.

They also qualified with firearms, in the daytime and at night

“It is one of the highest liabilities a department has and they have to be well prepared and trained to use it if they have to and unfortunately in today’s times, it is a possibility, unfortunately,” Bishop said.

Cadets in this class come from a variety of backgrounds. Steve Wilburn retired from the Mississippi Highway Patrol twenty years ago. He is the jail administrator with the Itawamba County Sheriff’s Office and is taking the class as a refresher. Wilburn says while law enforcement principles are the same, the training has undergone massive changes.

“Firearms training has changed somewhat since 1978,” Wilburn said. “More intense, more personal, we are using techniques that are more modern.”

Katelyn Johnson is the administrative assistant for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, and she also has a background in social work. Cadet Johnson says she is learning a lot in the part-time academy.

“Some of the surprises I believe are yet to come, when we get to tactical stuff, but I have learned a lot in the classroom and have a better understanding of what our law enforcement goes through on a day-to-day basis,” Johnson said.

Jason Baker is a music professor at MSU and is also a reserve officer with the Starkville Police Department.

For Cadet Baker, the training is tough, but top-notch.

“The focus Captain Bishop and his team have on tactics and shooting, safety, and an awful lot of real-life applications, I find those will be extremely helpful,” Baker said.

The class has just passed the halfway mark. Over the next few weeks, they will study self-defense techniques, patrol concepts, active shooter, and of course, more PT.

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