Bella Vista po­lice of­fi­cers grad­u­ate, be­gin field train­ing

The Weekly Vista - - News - KEITH BRYANT

Bella Vista po­lice of­fi­cers An­thony King, Michael Lar­son and John Hear­ron grad­u­ated from Arkansas Law En­force­ment Train­ing Acad­emy in Rogers Fri­day, April 20, and have started the min­i­mum 12-week field train­ing pro­gram.

King said he was new to law en­force­ment, but this is the ca­reer he wants to be in. He was sur­prised, he said, by how struc­tured the train­ing pro­gram was.

“They ran it mil­i­tary-style,” he said.

Trainees moved in for­ma­tions and marched ev­ery­where, he said.

The train­ing was well-struc­tured, he said, with a good split be­tween book work and prac­ti­cal drills. King said he learned all about traf­fic stops, mak­ing ar­rests and other as­pects of his new job.

“There was a lot of in­for­ma­tion crammed into 13 weeks,” King said. “We were kind of hit in the face.”

Lar­son said the pro­gram was some­what strict from the start, but it loos­ened up along the way, though the phys­i­cal train­ing never got easy. Of­fi­cers-in-train­ing went through phys­i­cal train­ing from Mon­day to Thurs­day, he said; and the acad­emy tested them ev­ery Fri­day.

“I def­i­nitely was in the best shape of my life by the end,” he said.

The lessons, he said, worked to drive home the se­ri­ous­ness of the job. Of­fi­cers were fre­quently re­minded they could die if a sit­u­a­tion goes sour, he said.

“I al­ready knew polic­ing had its risks like that,” he said. “But they def­i­nitely so­lid­i­fied that.”

But in ad­di­tion to phys­i­cal train­ing and teach­ing of­fi­cers their job, it also gave of­fi­cers a good chance to de­velop ties with peo­ple train­ing for other agen­cies, he said. Lar­son worked with peo­ple train­ing for the Ben­ton County Sher­riff’s De­part­ment who he is likely to work with in the fu­ture, he said.

But now that the acad­emy is fin­ished, these of­fi­cers are head­ing into field train­ing, where they’ll be paired up with ex­pe­ri­enced of­fi­cers to learn the ins and outs of po­lice work. Lar­son said he’s look­ing for­ward to it and he’s glad the de­part­ment pro­vides this ad­di­tional train­ing.

King said he’s ex­cited to start.

“We spent like 13 weeks learn­ing about the foun­da­tion of be­ing a po­lice of­fi­cer; I think we’re ready,” King said.

Keith Bryant/The Weekly Vista

Bella Vista po­lice of­fi­cers Michael Lar­son, left, and An­thony King stand out­side the po­lice sta­tion. The two of­fi­cers grad­u­ated from the Arkansas Law En­force­ment Train­ing Acad­emy in Rogers Fri­day, April 20. Of­fi­cer John Hear­ron grad­u­ated along­side them...

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