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Stephens County Reserve Officers graduate

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

STEPHENS COUNTY, OK (KSWO) - Sixteen reserve officers who are described as ambitious with a desire to help others are now trained officers. Reserve officers from departments in Comanche, Stephens, Jefferson, and Tillman Counties graduated from the Stephens County Reserve Academy Monday night.

After five and a half months of classes, three times a week for four hours, the reserves are finished with their schooling and training.

"We were 16 strangers when we walked in together and we walked out as a family," Hunt said.

Garrett Hunt is now a reserve deputy with the Stephens County Sheriff's Department.

He said law enforcement is something he's always been interested in.

"I thought I knew some, but whenever I got into the class I thought I didn't know anything at all. It just broadened my knowledge of everything," Hunt said.

During the academy, they learned about laws, firearms, how to handle domestics, do building searches, traffic stops and accidents.

Stephens County Undersheriff and Academy Coordinator John Smith said they learned everything that a full-time police officer would know, and while on duty they have the same the same power as other officers.

"We utilize them to the maximum,” Smith said. “If we have extra patrol areas, we will call them out. In high crime areas, we utilize them for that. They have the same power as a peace officer and that’s how we use them."

Hunt said his favorite part is the reward.

"Knowing that you worked 20 weeks or so and finally you're an officer or a deputy," Hunt said.

At the graduation, James Akers with the Tipton Police Department was rewarded with the Highest Academic Achievement after averaging 95 on the tests, and John McDevitt was given the Fire Arm Proficiency award after averaging 88 percent at the range.

Hunt will get some field training hours before he starts patrolling on his own.

Copyright 2017 KSWO. All rights reserved. 

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