Officers learn to think like a criminal

Officers learn to think like a criminal

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Training is the key when you're trying to catch criminals, and then prosecute them successfully. That's why dozens of police officers came to Pascagoula this week for two days of intensive instruction.

"When people start getting uncomfortable with certain things, then they change the way they behave. And it's those changes and that behavior, those anomalies, which is what we try and show them how to watch for," explained former state trooper and law enforcement trainer Steve Varnell.

One thing to watch out for is lying, according to seminar sponsor Eddie Hawkins.

"Well, it's very important to be able to tell when someone is not telling the truth and be able to detect when they are being deceitful. So it's very important that they learn these types of skills," Hawkins said.

It's important to learn those skills sooner rather than later.

"It really scares me about the young officers we have on the street," said Bruce Lynd with the Pascagoula Police Department. "We have criminals out there with more experience than they do. So anything we can do or any kind of training we can provide, for these younger officers especially, to make sure they come home to their families, we have to."

About 70 police officers from across Mississippi attended the two day seminar. And for those who sat behinds these desks and learned these techniques, it will prove invaluable to them in the future.

"A lot of things, you don't think about. Especially when you're sitting side by side with somebody talking with them," said Melissa Ezell with the Gautier Police Department. "Definitely taught me a lot more I can use than before."

This week's seminar was sponsored by the Pascagoula Police Department, the U.S. Attorney's Office, and the High Intensity Drug Interdiction Task Force, commonly known as HIDA.

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