LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - This upcoming school year, every school in the LPS district will have at least one police officer stationed at it every day.
Right now there are 11 cadets going through the first ever LPS Reserve Police Academy that, when finished, will allow them to ensure that on any given day, there is always at least one officer at every school in case of an emergency.
Cadet Tilton Adams said he’s excited for what he’ll learn over the next few weeks.
"A lot of good training and being able to identify things we need to know as far as what to do to deal with the kids,” Adams said.
Officer Caitlin Drewery, who is a CLEET certified trainer and already on the force at LPS, said Adams can expect to learn that and a whole lot more.
"They’re going to learn report writing, they’re going to learn defensive tactics, they’re going to learn about tactical driving, they’re going to learn ethics, all kinds of things. They’re going to learn some criminal investigation stuff, pretty much anything you can think of that can pertain to law enforcement, they’re going to learn in this short few weeks,” Drewery said.
This is the first time ever that LPS-PD has hosted their own academy.
"We had a lot of good candidates that just didn’t have their CLEET certification. So the next option was to host our own academy and be able to afford that training to these people so they could go ahead and come to work for us as a school marshal, police officer, for the district and be certified,” said Chief David Hornbeck.
Once the cadets graduate, they will be spread out to different elementary schools in Lawton.
"I’d say everyday it’s becoming more and more of a need. The school shootings becoming more prevalent, we’re having more disturbances at the schools which is unfortunate,” Drewery said.
"Merely a police officer being in a school prevents so much from happening at that location. Each and every day there are issues that arise and there is potential for anything happening in our schools, especially in this day and age. Having that police officer in that school is just that extra security blanket if you will,” Hornbeck said.
Hornbeck said it will also be great for the parents.
"As a parent myself, I think it will give the parents peace of mind knowing that when their child goes to school in the morning and until that child is released that afternoon, there is a police officer in that building ensuring that building is safe and secure and the occupants of that building are as safe as we can possibly keep them,” Hornbeck said.
In addition to the 11 LPS cadets, there are also cadets from Medicine Park and Tipton going through the academy who will be able to take their CLEET certifications back to their respective police departments.