Columbus Police Department gets ready for new recruits

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – The Columbus Police Chief Joseph Daughtry is adding to his department one recruit at a time and he wants to make sure they’re ready.

“A true definition of crime is opportunity. The more police we have on the street, the more visibility, the less opportunity the criminal element’s gonna have,” said Daughtry.

The Columbus Police Department is getting ready to send its latest recruits to the Jackson Police Training Academy preparing them to become certified police officers.

Daughtry said it’s going to be tough.

“They’re going to be broken down. And what I mean by broken down is: they’re going to be torn down to be built back up. Basically, learning to be a police officer is a…this is a career move. You have to learn so many different things. You have to learn: state laws, state statutes, and traffic laws, you have to learn defensive tactics, driving, firearms, and report writing. But you have to learn how to deal with the public. Also team building, how to be a team cause we’re not in this thing alone,” said Daughtry.

Bryan Moore is a Tactical Officer with the Columbus Police Department.

Moore said camaraderie will be the key to the recruits’ success.

“They’re gonna have to take that same team-building experience and implement it with their class, and make sure that the other people in that class don’t quit either cause that same thing’s gonna be in effect. You are only as strong as your weakest link in that entire class. Not just the recruits from the Columbus Police Department,” said Moore.

William Henderson is one of those prospective cadets.

“I know it’s going to be difficult. We’ll be away from our family six days a week,” said Moore.

Six days a week for 14 weeks.

Henderson said he made the decision to become an officer to give back to his community.

“For an amount of time, I didn’t feel like I was giving back maybe enough. And this is – what better way to give back? That’s part of our code of ethics is to serve the community,” said Henderson.

The department’s retention contract encourages new officers to remain with the department for three years before they consider moving to another agency.

“We’re building our police department. We’re building it to be the pride of the Golden Triangle,” said Henderson.

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