Future police officers get a unique look at youth court

Judge Staci Bevill invited cadets to sit in on proceedings, meet personnel

TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) – Cadets in Class B-69 of the North Mississippi Law Enforcement Training Center spent their day in front of Judge Staci Bevill and got a rare look at youth court.

Youth court proceedings are closed to the public, but each cadet signed a confidentiality agreement, which allowed them to observe cases on the docket.

This is the first time a basic class has visited a youth court.

“People think youth court is cookie-cutter, you deal with kids doing this and doing that. But to be honest, youth court deals with so many different issues that touch on what police are dealing with, whether it be a runaway that they find when they do a drug bust or all different kinds of things that happen and they need to know we’re here and how we tie it into to what they do every day,” said Judge Bevill.

Dean Bearden is the director of the police academy and says it’s important for cadets to learn as much as they can about the different aspects of the justice system.

“To learn about how to deal with juveniles, not just cuff them and stuff them but get out here and actually teach these cadets to work with the system, learn the system and hopefully help some kids,” said Bearden.

Cadets were also able to tour the Juvenile Detention Center, just a few blocks away from youth court. Cadets say the entire day gave them a better understanding of the policies, procedures, and personnel that make youth court run.

“This has been very helpful for me, I think I speak for all cadets. Getting out of the classroom sometimes is fun, getting some hands-on experience and being in an actual environment is helpful, I’ve learned about who to contact about things I might see on the street,” said Cadet Connor Lewis, who will work with the Southaven Police Department.

“I didn’t know much about it, I’ve learned a lot, it’s been a good experience, lot of things I didn’t know, I’ve got a good grasp on today,” said Cadet Jake Turner, who will work with the Booneville Police Department.

Cadets in Class B-69 have three more weeks until they graduate and become police officers.

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