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West Memphis PD brings back Police Academy

West Memphis PD brings back Police Academy


West Memphis PD brings back Police Academy

First class begins rigorous 15- week training course For the first time in nearly four decades, the West Memphis Police Department is taking a very hands-on approach to the training of its officers.

On Monday, Aug. 1, the West Memphis Police Department began its own Basic Police Training Class, with a class of seven new officers.

“This is the first basic training class that has been conducted by WMPD since the late 1970s,” explained West Memphis Police Captain Robert Langston.

In Arkansas, new police recruits are required to attend a 13-week basic training class within their first nine months of employment. Historically, WMPD officers, like most officers in the State of Arkansas, attend basic training in Camden or Pocahontas.

However, the West Memphis Police Department decided to not only bring back its own police training class, but also augment it with an extra two weeks of training. The WMPD Academy exceeds state standards by providing recruits with 15 weeks of training, instead of the state required 13 weeks.

To provide officers-intraining with the tools they will need to perform their duties, the WMPD’s Academy will utilize 15 instructors from within the police department, along with several other experts from other fields — qualified people from pertinent organizations. Local individuals providing instruction from outside of the police department will include: Jessica Galtelli, Chris Brogdon, Eddie Spears Jr., Doyle Barnes, and Deputy Prosecutor Thomas Young.

The Arkansas Department of Health, the Criminal Justice Institute, Arkansas Crime Information Center, Center Mass Simulators, and Tier 1 Group, will also provide training during this academy class.

According to Capt.

Langston, “In June, Chief Donald Oakes advised me that he wanted WMPD to conduct a Basic Training Academy for seven newly hired officers. The Training Division immediately began working on this, and we were only able to complete this task because of the diligence and professionalism of several officers within the West Memphis Police Department. Lieutenant Troy Galtelli, Sergeant Richard Dennis, Sergeant Jennifer Evans, Sergeant Steven Jackson, Officer Drew Skaggs, Officer Jennifer Welsh, Detective Ira Rountree, and Detective Donny White, performed key roles in bringing this academy class to fruition.”

The seven recruits who make up the first class at the new West Memphis Police Academy are Thomas Evans, Michael Garrett, Jerimiah Mangum, Jimelle Nicks, Talitha Singleton, Tristan Williams, and Austin Woolbright. The first group from the revived WMPD Academy will complete its training on Thursday, Nov. 10.

By Ralph Hardin

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