Recruit Class 40 graduates from Hattiesburg Police Academy

A new group of men and women swore to protect the city of Hattiesburg this morning at the Hattiesburg Police Department’s training academy graduation.
Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 7:05 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - A new group of men and women swore to protect the city of Hattiesburg and its citizens this morning at the Hattiesburg Police Department’s training academy graduation.

The seven men and women now wearing the black and blue as part of Recruit Class 40 took the oath of office on Wednesday, Oct. 5.

This group of seven, however, started as a group of 13, but that number started to dwindle quickly as training got underway.

“By the end of week five, the seven you see before you remained,” said one of the recruits during the graduation ceremony.

Recruits went through physical training, like pushups and situps, as well as firearms education.

“We went through a lot of training,” said Domanick McSwain, a member of Recruit Class 40. “A lot of defensive tactics, clearing houses and stuff like that, traffic stops. It was a lot of stuff just to make sure that we had what we needed necessary to do our jobs.”

The 17-week training academy started in June, a longer training time than required by the state. Lt. Stefon Richardson, director of training for the police department, said HPD does a more intensive program than it has to.

“The state requires only 12 weeks of training,” Richardson said. “We actually go 17 weeks. A big thing with us is de-escalation, not so much hands-on type of things. We really push the CIT (crisis intervention training) and dealing with more mental issues and try to get them help that way.”

It’s all to ensure the men and women wearing the badge know how to police the “Hattiesburg way.”

“We deal with the community,” Richardson said. “We want to work with the community, and that’s the Hattiesburg way. So, it’s a foundation that’s been built a long time, and we continue that foundation.”

The newest officers will now spend three months completing a field training program.

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