LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - 11 cadets began their training in the Lawton Police Academy Monday and this year, they’re going in more equipped than ever before. The Crime Stoppers of Southwest Oklahoma offered up bags for every cadet with LPD.
Over the course of the 20 week academy, cadets will learn everything they need to know about patrol, the laws, defensive tactics and more.
“The cadets we bring through our academy, that’s our number one goal - teaching them, but helping them graduate and go on the street and help protect our community," said Sergeant Timothy Jenkins, with the Lawton Police Department.
This year, the Crime Stoppers of Southwest Oklahoma is chipping in, presenting patrol bags. It’s part of the Senator Sam Helton Memorial Scholarship Program.
“I think it comes back to investing and rewarding," said Detective Brad Delozier, Coordinator of the Crime Stoppers of Southwest Oklahoma. "We want to be able to retain our officers for Lawton and Fort Sill on down the road, so we want to invest in their futures right now.”
Inside the bag, cadets will find a gun cleaning kit, ear muffs, a ticket book, and a clipboard. These items are essential for law enforcement, but not provided by LPD.
“For one, it’s one more expense they won’t have to pay early on in their careers,"said Detective Delozier. "Two, we try to pick items that they’ll probably never have to replace in a 20 year career.”
Drue Watkins is entering the academy and says the nearly $300 investment shows how much this community cares for its officers.
“To be able to give back to officers shows there is a lot of patience, respect, admiration for those who are joining law enforcement," Watkins said. "I really respect that and I think it’ll be good to be shown how much they care.”
Three other cadets are also going through the academy, representing CCDC and Stephens County. Graduation is set for January 10, 2020.