By JB Clark
TUPELO – North Mississippi’s 10 newest law enforcement officers were sworn in at the Link Centre in Tupelo on Friday.
Members of the North Mississippi Law Enforcement Training Center’s Basic Class 2013-B-49 began their pursuit of a law enforcement badge 12 weeks ago. Of the 23 who began the academy as a part of the class, 10 completed the course designed to be physically, mentally and emotionally straining.
“We had some good days and we had some bad days,” said Training Center Director Lt. Michael Lewellen. “After their first week, I was talking to Assistant Director (Scott) Speaks and I said, ‘I have some serious reservations about this class. Those guys, I don’t know if they’re going to get there or not.’”
Lewellen said he was pleasantly surprised by the class which went on exceeded his expectations over the 12 weeks and became one of the best classes he’s ever seen.
“That’s directly related to their dedication and hard work,” he said. The class was the first class under him since being appointed director of the Tupelo Police Department’s academy earlier this year.
Tyler O. Allen, 23, of Booneville, was awarded the Top Cop designation for having the highest overall average of the 10 cadets.
“This class has been the best class of people I’ve ever been able to be associated with,” Allen said. “We stuck in there together; we fought together; we each pulled the next person through this. I couldn’t have done this without this team and we’re all Top Cops who are now going to go out and serve our communities.”
Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson gave the keynote address at Friday’s graduation. He spoke of the Parable of the Talents from Romans.
“Some of you run faster and some of you can learn quicker and some of you can shoot better,” Johnson said. “This training and these skills you have been given are your talents like the ones the servants in the parable were given. How will you use them?”
Other award recipients were: Jason S. Peters for platoon leader, Allen for academic excellence, Jessie D. Loague for firearms proficiency and Bernard C. Wade for physical fitness excellence.
• Tyler O. Allen – Booneville Police Department
• Craig Coxey – Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
• Jessie D. Loague – Mantachie Police Department
• John A. Logan – Pontotoc County Sheriff’s Office
• Davis M. Manning – Tupelo Police Department
• Jason S. Peters – Tupelo Police Department
• Derek E. Scott – Union County Sheriff’s Office
• Bernard C. Wade – Clarksdale Police Department
• Jacob L. Wilson – Mississippi Department of Corrections
• Jonathan Murphy II – Mississippi Department of Corrections