Fourth District Holds Law Enforcement Training

Police interactions with the public tend to stay at the forefront of breaking news and are one of the top dating topics gone wrong on social media. One of the strategies employed to help stem the negative consequences is to train officers in the scenarios they will encounter in the field. On Wednesday, June 1, the Sunflower County Courthouse was the site of a training session for law enforcement from across the Delta. “There were just over 50 officers here today from all local law enforcement agencies,” Mississippi Fourth Circuit Court District Attorney Dewayne Richardson said. “We discussed and shared experiences about the whole process, from the moment of arrest to the trial.”

Richardson said the officers represent the Sunflower County Sheriff’s Department, the Indianola Police Department, the Mississippi Highway Patrol and city and county law enforcement officials from nearby communities. Officer experience levels ranged from just three months in uniform to 43 years of service. “One of the main purposes of this training is for us to get to know each other because our work overlaps quite a bit,” he said. “We share some of the same defendants and witnesses and it’s important that law enforcement works well together as a whole, regardless of which agency is represented.”

The training lasted all day and allowed officers to share their experiences and provide tips and advice to their law enforcement brethren. “The most important thing in the whole law enforcement process is to be in one accord,” Richardson said. “We tell officers what information we expect to be on file and the end goal is a successful prosecution.”

Even though Richardson’s office has overseen this training, these gatherings are far from one-way, top-down communication. Discussions are open, honest and intended to help each agent act legally, ethically and professionally in the field. “They listen, learn and share advice with each other,” Richardson said. “They accept constructive criticism from each other in the spirit that we can promise to work harder, learn more and increase our overall effort.”

Richardson said the trainings are moving from city to city to be accessible to all officers. This is the third training of 2022. The next training will take place over the summer and will be overseen by the US Attorney’s Office regarding investigative techniques.

“We welcome all law enforcement to join us when we go through training,” Richardson said.