Debbie Wolfe will report from each session of the 2017 Gulfport Citizen’s Police Academy. This is part eight of 11.
Workflows for traffic stops and the field training program of the Gulfport Police Department were the focus of the March 9 Citizens’ Police Academy meeting at law enforcement headquarters inside City Hall, 2401 53rd St. S.
Once a state-certified police officer is hired by Gulfport, an additional two-week training program familiarizes them with 246 separate written directives, some of which can be 13 pages in length, said Operations Commander Mary Farrand.
“I do the scheduling myself and I jam as much material into that time period that I can,” she said.
New local officer training includes qualifying on the range with firearms, being fitted for uniforms and body armor that are tailored to each individual, safe handling of cases involving blood-borne pathogens, certification for the use of databases, and orientation to key geographic locations such as the county jail and courthouse.
Community Resource Officer Zack Mills, who specializes in traffic cases, had these tips for participants if they are ever involved in a minor accident:
“No matter what, whenever you’re involved in a crash and especially when you’re not at fault, tell the law enforcement officer you want a report done so you have something on paper,” he said. “Because insurance companies do use these reports whether it’s for or against you.
“And, after the adrenalin wears off in a couple of hours or a day,” you may need documentation to seek medical attention for resulting pain.