In July of 2018, Governor Hutchinson's School Safety Commission released their recommendations on improving the safety of our students. One of their recommendations was putting more officers (full-time and reserves) in the schools.
Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer is proud to announce a new partnership with Ouachita River School District, Mena School District, and the Cossatot River School District. Throughout the summer, select school officials from the area school districts attended a Reserve Officer/Part-time Officer training course put on by the Polk County Sheriff's Office.
The 120 hour course covered topics including constitutional law, defensive tactics, use of force, investigations, narcotics, Arkansas law, juvenile law, active shooter response, firearms safety, and tactical/combat shooting. Participants were also required to undergo a physical and psychological examination.
"While we covered all the topics mandates by the Commission in Law Enforcement Standards and Training, a special emphasis was placed on firearms. We spent a lot of time at the gun range. We shot in the rain, in the heat, at night. These school officials spent much more time at the range than your standard Reserve Officers. They shot more rounds than a full-time certified officer will shoot at the police academy. They worked extremely hard and we are really proud of them".
The class graduated on Thursday, August 9, 2018. Upon graduation, 10 local school officials were sworn in as Reserve Deputies at the Polk County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Sawyer stated that completion of the Reserve Class is just the beginning of their training. These new Reserve Deputies will be required to re-certify with their firearms every 6 months and will receive updated training throughout the year.
The purpose of the class and this program is to help keep our children safe. These Reserve Deputies are now authorized to to be armed on campus. They are trained and authorized to respond to an active shooter and they will do whatever is necessary to protect our children.
8-21-18 1:18 p.m. kawx.org