JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - It’s a different world now for police officers than it was even a few years ago.
Simpson County Sheriff Paul Mullins says the training he went through as a young cadet was seemingly in a totally different world.
“I don’t even think I had a cell phone when I went through the academy,” he said with a laugh.
Cell phones. Anti-police sentiment. A racially charged-world. All of these have changed the game a little. But not really that much for honest cops, Mullins said.
“You know the public’s eye is upon us and especially with all these cameras. And if you’re doing what’s right it doesn’t matter if they film it or not. You do what’s right and at the end of the day you’ll come out unscathed,” he said.
Besides that universal message, the academy is also teaching some knowledge that is necessary to keep up with the spirit of the times: De-escalation, cultural differences, and mental health issues are three of those things.
“We try to go in first to de-escalate to calm them down, try to find out what their main problem is and what the root cause is,” said Instructor Clay McPherson. “Kind of making rapport with them, instead of just wanting to come in and taze them, handcuff them.”
Sheriff Mullins says that new officers today have more to deal with now than they have in past years.
“But I also can tell you that law enforcement is well loved in this country. I mean, we saw that last week and we get it every day now that that’s happened. It looks like everyone’s against law enforcement, but that’s not the case. We have more friends than we have enemies,” he said.
The state requirement for academies like Simpson County’s is 308 hours, but McPherson says those 14 cadets will train for 350 hours.