HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Monday marked the first day of training for seven new Hattiesburg Police Department recruits.
“Everything we do is dependent on numbers,” Hattiesburg Police Chief Anthony Parker said. “Our specialty units like our quality of life team, our bike patrols, we can’t do that without proper numbers. We’re building on those teams to help Hattiesburg.”
Captain Tony Fontaine is the Director of Training at the Hattiesburg academy facility and said the training is tough.
“We try to get them ready for what they’re going to see on the streets. The academy is 17 weeks long,” Fontaine said.
The Hattiesburg academy follows the state curriculum and is able to add specific training for the Hattiesburg area.
“For the state, [it] is required 480 hours. We do 680,” Fontaine said. “And that’s to get the officer adapted and ready for our way, like chief said, the Hattiesburg way. That’s one of our advantages of having our own academy here.”
Mayor Toby Barker added that the training facility in Hattiesburg is an advantage.
“Having our own public safety academy, really makes us dynamic force when it comes to police and fire training them up with the latest practices and methods that are out there,” Barker said. “And so our academy is very nimble that we can bring those new things, those cutting edge things back to Hattiesburg.”
After completing training, the seven recruits will join more than 100 current officers on the force.