Future police officers learn basics before graduation

Instructors prepare cadets for life on the streets during 12 week academy

TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – Tyquarious Ward will soon be patrolling the streets of Tupelo, but first, he has to make the grade at the police academy.

Ward is one of 16 cadets who will soon graduate from Class B75. Cadets have spent the past 10 weeks in the classroom, and in the field, learning basics of police work. The training is tough, physically, and mentally, and Cadet Ward appreciates it all.

“When you get out, nobody will give you that ‘Hey I’m fixing to give you mental stress.’  You need to know how to handle it, so when you do get out of here, you will be able to better handle it,” Ward said.

This week, it’s driving tactics. Cadets drive the courses at an old portion of the airport.

Cadets must pass the driving test with at least a score of 80. Cadet Alex Bennett will work with the Ripley Police Department and says learning the basics of tactical driving is vital, because of the amount of time an officer spends inside the patrol vehicle.

“It is important to teach us how to drive responsibly, teach us to respond the correct way to certain situations we might encounter out on the road,” Bennett said.

Instructor Blake Burress said cadets will take what they learn in the academy, and put it into practice at agencies across the region. He also said the driving course helps cadets know how vehicles respond in pursuits.

“Going now to more SUVs on the road, they hold up well. But don’t have the balance like the car has. But they have new police vehicles with suspensions, making them very balanced in turns. Helps out a lot,” Burress said.

The vehicles police use may have changed in recent years, and that impacts some of the training methods.  But the basic principles remain the same, keeping the public and officers safe while apprehending the suspect as quickly as possible.

Class B75 graduates at the end of this month.

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