New chief to focus on training

TUPELO – Police Chief Tony Carleton is bringing new ideas to the department in hopes of benefiting the public and fellow officers.
Carleton, who has been on the job for about two weeks, will start by focusing on training opportunities.
“We are going to do in-service training every month for our officers,” said Carleton. “We want our guys to stay sharp and on top of their jobs, so it’s important to train frequently and thoroughly.”
Officers will have to complete eight hours of training a month, covering things like report writing, firearms competency, defensive tactics and knowledge of state laws. Carleton said he also plans on getting the officers certified to carry Tasers. Right now, only county officers are certified to use them.
The new chief also will put a higher emphasis on the physical health of his officers in conjunction with the mayor’s citywide health initiative.
Carleton said he plans on implementing training for patrolmen to be prepared for emergencies like workplace shootings.
“Tupelo has a lot of factories and I hope it never happens here, but it’s a possibility that we could have an active-shooting situation at one of them one day,” said Carleton. “So the patrolmen need to know how to handle those situations because they will be the first ones on the scene and they won’t have time to wait for S.W.A.T. to get there.”
Carleton said he plans on doing some joint training with the fire department and other law enforcement agencies.
Training opportunities for the public also are on Carleton’s agenda. Through the Police Athletic League and the Community-Oriented Policing Program, Carleton said the department plans to provide self-defense classes for women, a collision-avoidance course for teen drivers and basic civilian firearms courses.
“We want everyone in the community to feel safe and prepared,” he said.

Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or danza.johnson@djournal.com.

Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal