Meridian Star

May 8, 2013

Stonewall police chief credits training for accomplishment

Special to The Star
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     For Stonewall Police Chief Jon Austin Thomas, looking to pursue a career in law enforcement was something he knew he wanted to do.

    Having previously been a volunteer firefighter and currently an emergency medical technician, Thomas, a 27-year-old dad and husband, knew public service positions were where he wanted to continue his career path.

    Thomas heard about the Meridian Public Safety Academy Part-Time and Refresher Law Enforcement Academy class at Meridian Community College through a friend and signed up soon thereafter.

    “Austin arrived {to the class} early and eager on a regular basis,” said Michael Street, Meridian Public Safety Academy director.  “His interest and eagerness continued during each class. I knew he was there to learn and that he was genuinely interested in the course material.”

    After completing the course, Thomas landed the position of police chief for the town of Stonewall.

    The law enforcement class, offered through MCC Workforce Development, focuses on learning all federal, state, juvenile, and domestic laws. Students are given a written test on the laws before they are able to continue in the class.

    After the written law tests are completed, students begin to learn the basics of crime scene investigation; how to process a prisoner; how to be a good witness; how to collect evidence on narcotic type cases; officer safety and much more.

    “A lot of the skills, the tasks, the education, etc.that I have to have to do in my job as chief of police in Stonewall I achieved or learned through the Meridian Public Safety Academy Part-Time and Refresher Law Enforcement Academy Class at MCC,” Thomas said.

     “I would definitely encourage other people to take this class,” Thomas continued. “The MCC instructors are great and they made sure that we completely understood the material, because they know someone’s life may depend on it.”

    Applications for acceptance into the Meridian Public Safety Academy Part-Time and Refresher Law Enforcement Class are due Monday, May 13th with classes beginning Monday, June 10th.  To sign-up or to learn more about the Meridian Public Safety Academy Part-Time and Refresher Law Enforcement Class available through MCC Workforce Development, call MCC Workforce Development at 601-482-7445.