COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - All across the nation, law enforcement agencies are facing scrutiny following deaths such as George Floyd’s and Rayshard Brooks’ at the hands of police.
Some agencies are even losing officers to other jobs.
Two dozen new officers received their badges Tuesday, but that doesn’t mean they’re ready for the streets. The Columbus Police Department has a lot more training in store for these rookies.
It takes more than a badge and a gun to be a Columbus police officer. Police Chief Ricky Boren said it takes a lot of training. Diversity training, deescalation, police integrity, procedural ethics, racial profiling and community relations just to name a few.
Even after spending 11 weeks training at the state academy and learning from the best of the best, there’s still more training to go in the Chattahoochee Valley.
“They will train for some six weeks in the building before they go to a field training officer and then the field training officer will actually teach them and show them how to police the streets of Columbus, Georgia,” Boren said.
These 24 men and women are regular people just like you and me.
“They are human. All police officers are human. They are not above the law. The officers are trained to do what they need to do and stay within the bounds of the law,” Boren said.
Boren said no one is perfect, but they put on the uniform every day to serve their community the best way they know how.
“In the times that we’re living in right now and all the challenges we face, to see these 24 individuals being sworn in and getting their badge and knowing their one goal is to try to take care of the city of Columbus, I mean it gives you chill,” said Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson.
These recruits will add to the number of Columbus police officers, but they don’t make up enough to account for the deficit. Boren said even with these newly sworn in rookies, the department is still 84 officers short.
Boren said every single officer receives yearly and bi-yearly training on important topics such as deescalation and cultural diversity.