Six individuals received their certificates from the Meridian Public Safety Academy during a graduation ceremony held in Meridian Community College-Riley Workforce Development Center recently.
The Meridian Public Safety Academy at MCC provides refresher and part-time reserve law officer certification per the Mississippi Department of Public Safety Board on Standards and Training guidelines. Michael Street serves as director.
Part-time law enforcement graduates included Alex Boger, Chris Cooley, Daniel Mabry and Sandra Parry, all of Meridian. Refresher law enforcement graduates were Tedrick Liddell of Macon and Collin Kent of Meridian.
During the ceremony, special awards were presented to Cooley, Mabry and Parry for excellence in firearms, academic and physical fitness, respectively.
To enter the academy, cadets must be 21 or an emancipated minor, have a current CPR card, proof of high school graduation (diploma or GED), medical physical, background check, and complete an entrance physical test that includes a 1.5-mile run, pushups and an agility run.
While in the academy, students attend classes twice a week for four hours each evening and some occasional Saturdays. Some state-mandated curriculum topics include law (civil, constitutional, juvenile), courtroom testimony/mock trial, firearms (simulator and range), emergency vehicle operation, active shooter, subject control techniques, criminal investigation, and DUI.
The Board on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Training (BLEOST) requires 307 hours for part-time officers and 200 hours for refreshers.
This class started in August 2020 and was completed on June 1, 2021. The group’s academic average is 94.
In addition to providing part-time and refresher certification, the academy welcomes local officers who need continuing education hours to attend classes at no cost to them or their department.
Lynne Carey, MCC workforce project manager, said having seasoned officers in the class with the cadets helps with real-world knowledge transfer to the students. “This academy welcomed 27 active certified officers who attended one or more sessions. This is the most we have ever had to visit our classes,” she said.
The next academy will begin August 2021.
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