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Police recruiting & training initiatives


Police recruiting & training initiatives
Police officer training is going online.

Wesson Police are looking at novel ways to improve recruiting and reduce costs of training.


Town Aldermen approved a request by Police Chief Chad O’Quinn to spend $350 on a virtual program and learned about his vision of a police exploration program for youth.


O’Quinn reports that training that meets ongoing requirements for police officers in now available 24/7 online through a Tennessee company. The training conducted by highly qualified law enforcement instructors is wide-ranging, covering general patrols, administration, Constitutional and criminal law and procedure, corrections, leadership, investigation, corrections and school safety, among other areas in which police officers must build their skills and knowledge.


“Through this training, which officers can take in their offices, we can drastically reduce expenses for travel and lodging and training fees at on-site facilities,” O’Quinn points out.


While the virtual training will be immediately available, the police exploration program for youth is a long way off, and very much in the exploratory stages, O’Quinn says.


“It’s not a done deal,” O’Quinn stressed. “Many of the programs are in big cities, and we want to see if it’s feasible in a small town setting. By getting youth interested in police work, we pave the way for recruiting future officers.”


A model program is an outgrowth of the Boy Scouts of America and Learning For Life open to boys and girls between the ages of 14 and 21. The program seeks to educate youth about police work, whether or not they want to pursue a law enforcement career. Some local programs have an Explorer Academy, which adapts the curriculum of a real police academy to the youth. Courses may cover the history of law enforcement, contemporary law enforcement, juvenile law and protection, criminal law, criminal investigation, narcotics, criminalistics and forensics, and communication.


Explorer cadets' duties vary from program to program, but for the most part they perform a wide variety of community service and volunteer duties within police departments. Many provide extra help for large gatherings such as fairs and festivals, as well as in traffic control details. They also assist in clerical duties related to police records and report writing. Explorer cadets may participate in dispatching centers and patrol ride-a-longs. Some departments involve Explorers in searches for missing children, finding evidence in major crimes, and assisting at disaster scenes. Some are even used as undercover agents in under-age alcohol and tobacco sting operations


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