Bossier law enforcement academy begins classes today
Today is the first day for the North Louisiana Criminal Justice Academy in Plain Dealing and its Peace Officers Standards Training (P.O.S.T.) regimen.
The eighth class will have 28 law enforcement officers from seven agencies across northwest Louisiana and training for 12-weeks that will culminate with graduates becoming certified law enforcement officers.
Chief Mark Mahoney, an academy instructor for five classes, said the academy's growth has been tremendous and inspiring.
“I'm in awe about how quick we've grown and the reputation we've gotten from outside agencies. Due to word of mouth we've gotten more and more agencies' people from northeast Louisiana and south towards Alexandria.”
“We treat all recrutis with the same respect. A lot of agencies can't afford to hire fully-trained people, so those who want to serve their community and may not have the physical fitness or extensive knowledge of law enforcement leave us, they are in-shape, fully trained and ready to go back and serve that community,” Mahoney said.
The training, provided by the Bossier Sheriff’s Office, will include weapons qualifications, academic testing, physical fitness, officer survival skills, chemical weapons and a wide-range of law enforcement curriculum and training.
Mahoney said that graduates will be a step ahead of the officer hitting the street.
“The instruction is in-depth. We get them to think outside the box, look at situations happening in this world, and apply to training to basic things They try to make training there as realistic as possible,” said Mahoney. “Methods such as active shooter. Probably one of the most current problems in the U.S. prepare scenarios with school, office building, or something such as a grocery store.”
The academy also teaches officers standardized sobriety field testing.
“That (instruction) normally takes time away from their jobs or their departments don't have the manpower to train on that, but we provide that so when they are released back to their departments, they are prepared for the drunk driving on the roads, today,” said Mahoney.
This will be the eighth POST Basic Academy for NLCJA; the first class graduated in May 2009. The academy features a running track, a 30-station firing range, tiered classrooms with state-of-the-art technology, a driving/shooting simulator, and a five-story rappelling tower.
“We are excited about this group of recruits as they begin their training at North Louisiana Criminal Justice Academy,” said Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington. “We have a top-notch team of instructors with countless years of experience in order to properly train and develop these recruits into qualified law enforcement officers so they can serve their communities in a professional manner.”
The 28 recruits for NLCJA Class 008 are from Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office, Bossier City Marshal’s Office, Bossier City Police Department, Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office, Louisiana State Police, Minden Police Department and Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office.