Canadians Get Law Enforcement Lessons From South Mississippians - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

03/09/05

Canadians Get Law Enforcement Lessons From South Mississippians

Some Canadian law enforcement students will be patrolling the streets of South Mississippi Wednesday. That's just part of the hands-on experience they'll be getting this week through an exchange program their school shares with USM.

Tuesday afternoon, the group of students visited a Long Beach firing range.

Harrison County SWAT team member Clayton Jones described his job to Canada's next generation of law enforcement officers at the range. He and the rest of the Harrison County SWAT team then took the Canadian college students out to the firing range to show the students how they train for dangerous situations.

"I think they thought at times it was a little chaotic, but it's actually a fine-tune mechanism. We train like this constantly, day in and day out, to make sure that when the call comes, we can answer it," Jones said.

Tuesday marked Canadian student Kelly Busque's first time to lay hands on an MP5.

"Because I'm studying to be a police officer, I think it's a great experience to shoot and to have the chance to have explanation and stuff like that about guns," Busque said.

This is the exchange program's ninth year. And in just a few months, USM students will travel to Canada to learn more about their criminal justice system.

"Because their community is different, their policing style is a lot different than ours," said Harrison County K-9 officer and former American exchange student Angel Stevens.

Stevens was one of the program's American exchange students in 2003.

"It's very interesting to see how they handle different situations, and just the demeanor of their police officers versus ours. Because we're dealing with different types of people, the police officers have to be different," Stevens said.

But one thing most American and Canadian law enforcers do have in common is the desire to protect and serve, to the best of their ability. Even if it means crossing borders to add to their arsenal.

The students arrived in South Mississippi on Sunday. They will head back home on Thursday. The students are from two colleges in Quebec City, Canada.

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