JACKSON, MISS– The Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers Training Academy graduated Basic Class 252, which is the largest class in the organization’s history.
The graduation ceremony Thursday marked completion of 12 weeks of training for 92 new law enforcement recruits from all over the state.
“We have recruits from as far north as Southaven and as far south as Jackson County,” said Major Thomas Tuggle.
Tuggle added that these folks not only willingly gave up their time for training, but are willingly risking life and limb to protect the citizens of their areas.
“And I don’t hesitate to say I love you for that,” Tuggle said at the commencement ceremony.
Colonel Chris Gillard, Director of the Mississippi Highway Patrol, said that the training these graduates completed is no walk in the park.
“When you enter training, it’s almost like you’re raw,” said Gillard. “They expose your weakness, and build upon your strengths.”
Each of the 92 graduates will be added to the patrols in their respective cities. For the first time, Jackson Police Department had recruits that graduated from MLEOTA, and Chief Lee Vance said it’s not just historical, but a vital addition to the JPD force.
“The funding for doing a class at our academy got cut,” said Vance. “So this is the first time we’ve had recruits go through the state academy.”
Vance said that the call for training assistance to the state showed more than just a need in JPD.
“This showed the cooperation between law enforcement across the state,” said Vance. “Which I think is better than it has ever been.”
21 recruits were added to JPD.
The graduates will join the law enforcement ranks in the follow agencies:
Jackson Police Department
Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks
Vicksburg Police Department
Southaven Police Department
Columbus Police Department
Tishomingo County Sheriff’s Office
Tunica County Sheriff’s Office
University of Mississippi Department of Police
Columbia Police Department
Byram Police Department
Clinton Police Department
Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office
Adams County Sheriff’s Office
Iuka Police Department
Mississippi Department of Corrections
Laurel Police Department
Batesville Police Department
Choctaw County Sheriff’s Office
Natchez Police Department
Louisville Police Department
Yazoo City Police Department
Senatobia Police Department
West Point Police Department
Horn Lake Police Department
Byram Police Department
Hazlehurst Police Department
Simpson Police Department
Charleston Police Department
Kosciusko Police Department
Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office