Three area individuals were among the 11 members of the Stephens County Reserve Academy Class 12 BR8-2, who graduated Tuesday night.
Voted by her class peers as spokesperson was Alana M. Walls from the Duncan Police Department, who during the ceremony, encouraged her fellow classmates to stay strong and focused on their job as they were dispersed to their various agencies. Also earning their reserve title were Kenneth Sanner and Robert Bloodworth, both with the Velma Police Department.
“I believe within each of us there is a call for the greater good and a solemn acceptance of the danger,” she said.
Walls encouraged her fellow reservists to embrace the challenges they would face in the coming year as a sharpening tool to make them better law enforcement officers. Walls was awarded with the High Academic Achievement Award by Class Administrator and Stephens County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Michael Moore. The award was based on the highest academic test average throughout the class as well as her attentiveness, willingness to study and to go beyond the requirements of the class.
State Senator Corey Brooks of District 43 was guest speaker for the event. He congratulated the graduates on their achievement and also bestowed advice upon them based on his time in law enforcement as a reservist.
“Be aware of your surroundings,” Brooks said. “Do what is right.”
He also advised the graduates to be ready for any situation they might be thrown in and own whatever decisions they make.
This is the third annual Reserve Academy, given by the Stephens County Sheriff’s Office. It lasts about five months. This class was in training from Oct. 1, 2012 to Feb. 26, 2013.
Before graduating, participants are required to complete 240 hours of training in a variety of subjects such as academic training, range training, driving courses and defensive techniques. The class meets three days a week in the evenings after the participants get off work, which Stephens County Sheriff Wayne McKinney said makes for long days for the participants, and class time also includes time on the weekends.
“The reserves augment the regular, full-time police officers and deputies,” McKinney said. “They are completely volunteer. Their time is volunteered to the city or county they represent. Once they have graduated from the C.L.E.E.T. Academy, they have the same powers as a full-time officer does after they complete their field training officer program.”
Following graduation, the reservists are assigned back to their original agency where they will be required to complete additional training before they can work alone.
“They will go back to their department,” McKinney said. “Most of them will have a prescribed field training program where they ride with a senior training officer. They will put them through a six- to 12-week training program before they become a car commander working on their own.”
The reservists came to participate in the class from Garvin County, Waurika Police Department, Geronimo Police Department and Fletcher Police Department. McKinney presented each of the graduates with their diplomas.