CAMP SHELBY, MS (WDAM) - Twenty cadets from across Mississippi graduated Thursday from Class 2014-01 of the Southern Regional Public Safety Institute at Camp Shelby.
They participated in an 11-week course to receive certificates in basic law enforcement training.
Cadets from six police departments, four sheriff's departments and two state agencies took part. Three cadets who were self-sponsored also went through the course.
The State of Mississippi requires anyone who wants to be full-time officer to attend a basic police academy," said Capt. Todd Stewart, director of the Southern Regional Public Safety Institute. "It used to be two years within the date of hire, they had to attend a basic academy, and now it's been moved to one year. So, they can be hired and work for a year under supervision before they attend an academy, but they must attend an academy within that year," he said.
"Today is one of the proudest moments of my life," said Carly Winship, one of the law officers who received her certificate. Winship is a Jones County native who now works for the Starkville Police Dept. "I'm so glad that God has blessed me with this opportunity to be a police officer and I'm just really, really excited to get on the streets," she said.
"I can't wait to go to work now, I can't wait and serve the community and come back to the City of Collins," said Patrolman George Keys, Jr. of the Collins Police Dept. He's another law officer who graduate Thursday.
The institute had been located on the Southern Miss campus on the Gulf Coast, but moved to Camp Shelby after Hurricane Katrina.