The River Valley has several new police officers trained and ready to hit the streets. A graduation ceremony was held on Friday (July 11) for the officers at the Riverfront Pavilion. They just completed a 13 week training at the Fort Smith Police Training Center on Zero Street.
Graduate Jeffrey Taylor knew he wanted to be a cop since he was just a little kid. He watched his dad in uniform for 20 plus years and Taylor knew that was going to be him someday.
" It's been a big dream of mine so I'm pretty excited about it," said Taylor.
Taylor was along with seven other officers that graduated Friday (July 11). The 13 week training started in April and ended in July.
"Ranging from accident investigation to domestic issues to firearms training, physical training, defensive tactics training, "said Cpl. Steven Dooly with the Fort Smith Police. " Its a wide range of subjects, we cover criminal law and traffic, just give them a basic overall knowledge of law enforcement is about," according to Dooly.
"Certain things have do with stress, they try to put stress on you and its all stuff that comes with the job," said Taylor.
After graduation, the officers will train for another three months in field training.
According to Dooly, " They will actually get to learn the specifics of the job and how our policies, procedures, and our paperwork and other things their field training officer will teach them."
After three months of field training, the eight officers will be able to patrol on their own.
"They are excited to actually get out on the streets and learn the specifics of the job and be able to move forward in their career," said Dooly.
Taylor said he has been waiting for this moment his entire life. " I'm going to feel completely accomplished, it's a big deal not just to me but to everyone in the class," according to Taylor.
The graduates will go on to serve a variety of police departments including, Fort Smith, Dyer, Arkansas Tech University, and the Crawford County Sheriff's Department.