Young cadets learn what it's like to be a law enforcement officer

Young cadets learn what it's like to be a law enforcement officer

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Cadets from across the southeast are getting law enforcement training; most only teenagers.

There's no sleeping in for the 75 cadets who are participating in the Southeastern Law Enforcement Explorer Academy in Biloxi. The day starts with a 4:00 a.m. wake-up call.

"We work out for an hour. We go back to the room, clean up, then we come here to learn everything about the police academy," said Derrick Mingo of Choctaw County.

The cadets came from across Mississippi, Florida and Texas. Ten came all the way from London, England.

"We obviously noted they use guns here, whereas in London they don't. So that's one of the major differences," said Lillie Roberts. "The way they use the dogs, they train the dogs, the way in which they stop traffic."

Each lesson put the cadets behind the badge of an officer. For instance, in one class, they learned "verbal Judo", a communication method used to calm down a tense situation.

"I'm getting a whole lot out of it, so much I have learned between friendship, brotherhood, and not to give up no matter how hard things get," said Mingo.

Even if the cadets decide not to follow the law enforcement path, they are learning skills like respect, leadership, and teamwork.

"In the beginning, we're so tough on them. They may not get it and they may dislike law enforcement officers. That's not our goal. We want them to see that everything we do is for a reason, and it's for them to be successful," said Academy Administrator Sgt. Thomas Goldsworthy.

The Explorer Academy ends Saturday with a graduation ceremony and awards presentation.

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