Byron Swilley, Chief of the Hazlehurst Police Department, announced last week that two officers had earned their certificates after ten weeks of classes at the MS Law Enforcement Training Academy in Jackson.
Officers Darian Murray and Chris Granger completed the Certified Investigators Program and were honored at a ceremony on Friday morning at the Academy. Murray has been with the department for nine years, and Granger, six.
Their certification process included training in crime scene investigation, statement analysis, interview and interrogation methods and counter-terrorism, among more. The class is not mandatory at this time, but is a valuable tool for officers of various experience levels to be able to utilize, according to Swilley.
“Right now we are ahead of other police departments in our state, having three officers now who have completed this course,” said Swilley, a member of the B class of 2005 for the same course. Swilley added that at some point the Academy will require all of its students to complete the course, as it is a good investment not only in police protection, but in the career paths of the individual officers. “They will take this with them wherever they go, but, of course, we need both officers to stay with HPD,” Swilley explained.
Granger said that officers who complete the 400-hour course will be better at police work. “I am glad to have completed the course. I feel like I will be better able to serve the citizens of Hazlehurst. I’m also glad it’s over,” Granger said.
Murray added that completing the course has made him more knowledgeable and better able to utilize the investigative tools of the 2000’s. “Around 90% of what is used to solve crimes is now done with computer technology. With this training we are can be more efficient and more effective with the technology. Let’s face it–times have changed and we have to change with the times,” Murray said.
Undoubtedly proud of his two officers, Swilley noted that the public benefits the most from such training–and criminals should beware. “Our citizens should feel more confident that we will be able to conduct more professional, more thorough and more conclusive investigations that will lead to more crimes being solved,” Swilley added.