By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Sixteen junior police cadets stood outside in the afternoon heat, pressing against a wall at the North Mississippi Law Enforcement Training Academy on Wednesday.
The academy instructors were telling the students to hold the wall up – not that the wall was falling. They were learning to work as a team after some of the cadets argued about teamwork.
“They’re basically getting a small taste of what a normal academy is,” said Tupelo Cpl. John Bramble. “It’s a sampling of different things they would see in the academy. They had crime scene investigation, traffic stops, EOD (explosive ordinance disposal) and other classes they’re doing.”
Bramble said the academy started with 20 junior cadets and much like a regular academy, some have dropped out.
“Sometimes they follow up and sometimes they don’t,” he said. “Some come out here and don’t know what to expect and after the two weeks they’re looking into a career in law enforcement.”
Kendall Jenkins, an incoming senior at Oxford High School, said the academy has further confirmed his aspirations.
“Going into law enforcement has always been a goal of mine,” he said. “That’s where I felt I could best give back to my community and I felt coming here would give me an insight into what I would be looking forward to in my future years.”
He said the courses in defensive tactics, gang enforcement and EOD were especially interesting.
Samantha Stickland, an incoming junior at Mantachie High School, isn’t interested in being a law enforcement officer but attended the camp because she is interested in the law itself.
“My mother told me about the camp because she works at the police department and I found it interesting and decided that since I want to be a lawyer, it would be good to go through it to learn about the laws,” Samantha said.
Bramble said the students, who spent part of Wednesday afternoon in a hands-on course on explosives, have been a great class of cadets.