Police Academy Cadets And Reporter Learn First Hand About OC Spray

TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) – It was a day cadets at the North Mississippi Law Enforcement Training Center will always remember. Twenty cadets went through the “OC spray course,” along with WCBI’s Allie Martin.

As week one wrapped up for Class B 66, cadets spent several hours in the classroom, learning about OC Spray, also known as pepper spray. OC spray is an inexpensive, less lethal force option, that has multiple uses for police, such as self defense, and crowd control.

“Mainly in our use of force, intermediate use of force, gives them, the options of not using a firearm, because that’s what we want, we do not want to use deadly force and any other options we have we certainly want to teach them to use that,” said NMLETC Director Dean Bearden.

Each cadet must pass a written test on the use of OC spray, and they are also sprayed with a one second blast, to understand its effects.

The future officers also go through a combat scenario course while under the effects of OC Spray. The exercise helps them understand what OC feels like if they have to use it on a suspect. The cadets are also shown that they can fight through OC spray exposure.

“One of the scenarios we will do is put them through the pain, blindness,and be able to handle themselves and continue to take somebody into custody,” Bearden said.

The director allowed me to get sprayed, so I could have a better understanding of what the cadets are going through.

It takes a few seconds for the spray to take effect, then the burn begins. The effects cause you to want to close your eyes, but you have to keep your eyes open, to complete the course.

After getting the suspect, played by a cadet in custody, I was taken to the water station, to wash my eyes with water. You don’t rub your eyes, but dab them with a paper towel. After about 45 minutes, the effects start to wear off. OC training is one of many topics cadets will go through during the 12 week academy to prepare them for a career in law enforcement.

Cadets go home for the weekend. During week two they will learn about Mississippi criminal statutes, report writing, juvenile law and daily PT.

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