On Monday, Feb. 4, 2019, a group of Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science students, accompanied by Mrs. Latoya and Mr. Robinson, left campus to tour the Columbus Police Department. This was done in partnership with the Family Resource Center to gain knowledge and get a first-hand look at the day to day of an on-duty officer.
The students arrived at the police department around 4:30 p.m. and toured until about 6:15 pm. Once there, they were led around the station by Detective Anderson. He led them through the entire station, from the front to the back, where he introduced them to officers on duty, the chief of police and the women that take care of tickets, complaints and misdemeanor cases all while showing them the day to day of an officer on the force.
Upon arrival, Anderson went through their daily routines as officers on the force. Officers work 12 hour shifts, two days a week, with every other weekend off. This allows the officers to work and get their hours, while also being able to spend times with their families. When becoming an officer, it is a long process.
All officers must at least have a high school diploma or GED. Then each officer must go through background checks and other prerequisites to be enlisted into the police academy where they will train for 12 weeks. They have a weight room, strict diet and time out in the field to learn the basics to ensure their success there.
He also explained the department has three police motorcycles, two drug dogs and access to a helicopter and helipad. As of now, they are borrowing the city’s helicopter, but they also have an officer in school to receive his pilot’s license, and once he receives that, he will be a part time officer and part time pilot.
The students also went through the evidence locker that contained evidence dating back to the 20s, the interrogation room where they took pictures and were mirandized, the justice court and the disgusting and horrific smelling holding cells, stressing to us after arriving here suspects would either be charged with the crime or released.
At the Columbus Police Department, students got to meet many officers and vital members to the police force. Detective Anderson made sure to adequately describe all of the job and their relevance to the police force.
“They (police officers) were very nice and I was very excited to see some black people,” junior Faith Brown said.
He explained and described everything in great detail on the process that took place, what everything was, and what some of the common words and phrases meant.
Anderson even shared some true stories and told about about some of the cases that passed through the department. Alex Magee, Faith Brown, Dakota Straight and Corrin Dixon even got a chance to enter the interrogation room and get “Mirandized”.
As students headed toward the end of the tour, Junior Alex Magee said, “It was a very enlightening experience that showcased the actual lives of law enforcement.”
Hall Director Latoya Bledsoe said, “I learned a lot of things that I didn’t know or realize and I found a new appreciation for those in the law enforcement industry.”