Fol­low­ing Foot­steps

Son be­comes po­lice of­fi­cer along­side dad

The Saline Courier - - FRONT PAGE - By Sarah Perry [email protected]­ton­

Last month, sev­eral in­di­vid­u­als joined the rank of lo­cal po­lice de­part­ments, in­clud­ing a Bryant of­fi­cer vowed to serve and pro­tect along­side his dad.

Dakota Turner said he de­cided to become a po­lice of­fi­cer be­cause he saw first­hand the ben­e­fits of the pro­fes­sion.

His fa­ther, Bryant Of­fi­cer Michael Turner has been in law en­force­ment for ap­prox­i­mately 14 years, in­clud­ing an 8-year stint in the Bryant Po­lice Depart­ment.

Dakota also said he was per­son­ally called to the pro­fes­sion.

“I’ve been lucky enough to feel like there was a call­ing to it,” Turner said. “I en­joy help­ing peo­ple. I en­joy be­ing able to con­nect with peo­ple on good or bad days. This is the

only pro­fes­sion where you can re­ally do that.”

Prior to be­ing hired in Bryant, Dakota said he worked at the Arkansas Depart­ment of Cor­rec­tion unit in Ben­ton. In his al­most two years work­ing for ADC, Dakota earned the rank of cor­po­ral.

When news of his son’s grad­u­a­tion was posted on the Bryant Po­lice Depart­ment’s Face­book page, Michael Turner took to the com­ments to com­mend fel­low of­fi­cers for their sup­port.

“I’m not shocked but am at the same time proud to see all the sup­port for him from the Bryant Po­lice Depart­ment,” Turner said. “Our fam­ily no­ticed it also. Thank you every­body for that it meant a lot.”

He told The Saline Courier he wasn’t sure he son would pur­sue a ca­reer in law en­force­ment, but he is proud of his son for do­ing so.

Dakota de­scribed his grad­u­a­tion as a “mix­ing pot of emo­tion.”

“There is a lot of hap­pi­ness, a lot of re­lief, but also a lot of stress try­ing to make sure that I don’t just do them (state and depart­ment of­fi­cials) right, I do him (my dad) right,” Dakota said.

Be­ing hired in May, Dakota was able to par­tic­i­pate in the depart­ment’s field train­ing of­fi­cer pro­gram prior to at­tend­ing the Arkansas Law En­force­ment Train­ing Academy (ALETA). He is cur­rently as­signed to the pa­trol di­vi­sion.

Dakota said he has re­sponded to a wide range of calls.

“It’s a new ex­pe­ri­ence ev­ery hour,” he said. The Ben­ton Po­lice Depart­ment and Saline County Sher­iff’s Of­fice re­cently also had new re­cruits grad­u­ate from ALETA.

New Ben­ton of­fi­cers are Tierra Cof­fey, Charles An­der­son, Joseph Mckin­ley and Je­sus Fe­lib­erty.

Mckin­ley and Cof­fey served as squad lead­ers dur­ing the academy. Mckin­ley also placed sec­ond in phys­i­cal fit­ness and An­der­son places third in firearms.

Fe­lib­erty was hon­ored dur­ing the academy by be­ing named one of two Bernie Mosley Sheep­dog Award re­cip­i­ents. His spirit and en­thu­si­asm were noted as rea­sons for him be­ing awarded, ac­cord­ing to the Ben­ton Po­lice Depart­ment. Join­ing the Saline County Sher­iff’s Of­fice are Adon­tae Winston, David Belue and Blake Vise.

Winston and Vise have been as­signed to the SCSO Pa­trol Di­vi­sion and Belue has been as­signed to the Ad­min­is­tra­tion Di­vi­sion, Civil Process Sec­tion.

Spe­cial to The Saline Courier

Ben­ton Po­lice Depart­ment As­sis­tant Chief Jeff Be­san­con, far left, and Chief Scotty Hodges, far right, join new re­cruits for the Ben­ton Po­lice Depart­ment. New of­fi­cers from left are Tierra Cof­fey, Charles An­der­son, Joseph Mckin­ley and Je­sus Fe­lib­erty.

Spe­cial to The Saline Courier

Bryant Po­lice Depart­ment’s new­est of­fi­cer Dakota Turner is all smiles af­ter re­cently join­ing the ranks be­side his fa­ther Michael Turner, who has worked as a po­lice of­fi­cer in Bryant for the past 8 years.

Spe­cial to The Saline Courier

The Saline County Sher­iff’s Of­fice re­cently had three deputies grad­u­ate from the Arkansas Law En­force­ment Train­ing Academy. From left are Chief Deputy Jay Fitz­patrick; Deputies Adon­tae Winston, David Belue and Blake Vise; and Sher­iff Rod­ney Wright.

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