Bella Vista police officers graduate, begin field training
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.
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...