Two dozen graduate from USM Police Academy - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Two dozen graduate from USM Police Academy

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26 students graduated from Class 2013-02 of the Southern Regional Public Safety Institute Thursday. 26 students graduated from Class 2013-02 of the Southern Regional Public Safety Institute Thursday.
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HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

Law enforcement officers from Starkville to Gautier were part of the most recent class from the Southern Regional Public Safety Institute.

26 officers have just completed 10 weeks of basic law enforcement training as part of Class 2013-02.

Featured speaker for graduation exercises at Camp Shelby Thursday was Madison, Mississippi Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler.

The SRPSI is a partnership involving Southern Miss, Camp Shelby and the Mississippi law enforcement community. It's the state's only law enforcement academy accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.

"Within one year of an agency hiring, you must have graduated from the academy, or they have to let you go, that's the state law that requires that," said Julian Allen, Ph.D., director of the Southern Regional Public Safety Institute. "So, anybody that becomes a law enforcement officer in the State of Mississippi has to go through this program," he said.  

"It's been really hard and we've learned a whole lot, a lot of hands-on, a lot of training," said Candace Stewart, a graduate from the Forrest County Sheriff's Department.

"They've given us the knowledge we need to make it through that first year on the street, stay alive and really learn out there," said Jeremy Slaven, a graduate from the Madison Police Department.

The institute hosts four classes a year.   

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