Minden Press-Herald

Oct 01st

MPD shoots for special training

Two Minden police officers are scheduled to attend special response training next week at North Louisiana Criminal Justice Academy in Bossier Parish.

Minden Police Chief Steve Cropper said this course will allow Sgt Ryan Barnette and Off. Shawn Jenkins to participate in what may become a parish-wide SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team.

"The sheriff (Gary Sexton) has gotten together with the superintendent (of schools) Steve Dozier, and they are interested in doing a lot of practice on what to do if there is an active shooter in a school," Cropper said. "This won't be easy. SWAT requires a lot of training and a lot of dedication."

Cropper said his officers would join other officers and deputies parish-wide and train specifically for school-related incidences.

The initial training, which will take place May 14 through 18, is the cost of ammunition only.

With each Legislative session, laws change, and Cropper wants to make sure his officers are aware of those changes.

The chief told members of the Minden City Council Monday it will be mandatory for all of his officers to attend upcoming Criminal Code Update training with Judge Harmon Drew.

"A lot of laws have changed recently concerning domestic violence laws and cell phone usage," Cropper said. "That's changing on a yearly basis."

Currently, there is a law against texting and driving; and there is one in this Legislative session that would prohibit cell phone usage while driving totally.

"Judge Drew puts out what he calls 'Judge Drew's Blue Book,' a list of all laws, and he highlights all the new laws," Cropper said. "That's mandatory. We all have to go to that."

Acquiring one book per officer at $40 each is the only cost.

"I allow for that in our training budget," Cropper said.

The department applied for and was awarded a $5,000 state highway safety grant in reference to seat belt and DWI (driving while intoxicated) enforcement.

"This will be two different sections," Cropper said. "May 21 through June 3, we will be out working seat belt violators. August 16 through September 3 we will be targeting DWIs."

Grant funds will be used for overtime pay for off-duty officers.

"That's so we will have extra eyes on the streets," said the chief. "We will have more officers out there than we normally would."






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