Monday night was the ceremony to celebrate the hard work and dedication Reserve Class 2017-1820 put forth in the past weeks. Many of you have been following the progress of these men and women. This class comprised representatives from Bono, Craighead County, Jonesboro Police Department, Jonesboro Fire Marshalls, and Osceola Police Department, making it one of the largest classes in recent history. Craighead County Sheriff's Department and Jonesboro Police Department teamed up to teach the reservists. The class came away with a rich knowledge and unique experience with law enforcement training and tactics. In fact, one class member accepted a full time position with the Jonesboro Police Department at the culmination of her training. We look forward to the great works these men and women will accomplish in the future as members of the Thin Blue Line. Welcome to the family.
While the graduation ceremony has officially commenced, we still have a few classes left; Monday was the only day that was available for everyone to be able to attend. If Practicals Day is like Christmas, Active Shooter training is like Easter, 4th of July, Last Day of School, and your birthday all wrapped up in one. This is an exhausting, but exciting training day when the class gets to clear buildings, all the while someone is shooting the equivalent of paintballs at them.
Every job requires some level of training, and most jobs require continuing education throughout employment. Whether it be for credits, or to stay on top of the latest trends and techniques in your field, professionals find a way to hone their skills.
This is true for the Detention Officers at Craighead County Detention Center. Training Coordinator, Deputy Randy Sharp schedules training for the officers each month, with new and pertinent topics covered each session. This month's class is Defensive Tactics. The US has seen a spike in the number of reported instances of inmates attacking guards, and the severity of the attacks is becoming more brutal.
We train to live and we live to train. The classes are tough, and tiring, and grueling. However, training is meant to create muscle memory, so when the adrenaline kicks in you can rely on your training.
Everyone loves burpees, right!?
Defensive Tactics involves grappling and other hand-to-hand defense. Steven Combs assisted in this month's inservice, and we are grateful for his time and knowledge. Steven trains with Memphis Judo and Jujitsu.
Craighead County Detention Center is constantly training and we will share the stories as we can.
Reserve Class 2017-1820 met today at the Arkansas Fire Academy to put their classwork into practical training. Instructors from Jonesboro Police Department, Craighead County Sheriff's Department, Trumann Police, and volunteers with the Jonesboro Citizen's Police Academy, as well as other volunteers, worked together to give these twenty two men and women as much real-life experience in policing as possible while maintaining a safe environment for all involved. There were "classrooms" set up for Traffic Stops, Domestic Calls, Felony Traffic Stops, and Clearing Buildings. Volunteers were there to provide realistic role play for the reserve class to interact, and instructors were on hand to guide the event and give feedback at the end.
The best method to learn how to do something is to hear, watch, and do. These students sat through the lectures on the proper procedure for policing. They have watched the instructors demonstrate it, and have watched the videos. Today was the opportunity for them to do what they have been learning over the past weeks.
We had an audience. A family of hawks have nested nearby, and we were entertained by the aerial acrobatics of the four raptors, and the other birds bent on running them off. If you have ever seen one of these guys up close, you can appreciate how large they are and how long their talons are.
The practical knowledge gained here was not just the ability to perform the task. The class came away with a greater sense of confidence when it comes time to don the uniform. Decisions have to be made without hesitation, reactions have to be in the blink of an eye. Having learned the theory of the skill, and then performing the skill will have a lasting impression on each and every one of these men and women.
The classes are ramping up, and the schedule is getting harried. Graduation is right around the corner, and next week is going to be one of the longest days they've had so far. Stay tuned for the next installment of Reserve Class 2017.
The Mall of Turtle Creek hosted the annual Child Safety Event complete with child identification kits provided by First Security Bank. East Arkansas Broadcasters were there, as well as vendors throughout the region to raise awareness for child safety. Craighead County Sheriff's Office rolled in the MRAP and allowed the kids to explore the compartment, and made junior deputies out of a pretty good sized crowd. Thank you to all who were involved with the execution of this event, and thanks to all the parents who brought their kids out. It truly takes a village, and with a community effort, we will continue to keep Craighead County a great place to raise kids.
In continuation of our chronicles of the 2017 Reserve class, we find the men and women at the firing range. Before one can run, they must walk, and the instructors spent hours ingraining the class with safety and proper handling of firearms.
If it ain't rainin', we ain't trainin'!
When it was time for live fire, Mother Nature thought it would be interesting to give the reserve class some of the worst training environment one can experience to qualify. It was a toad-strangler at some points, misting rain, stinging rain, and yes...we quoted Mr. Gump a couple of times during the day. The troops were unphased by the rain, even the targets were wearing rain jackets.
Just before night fire began, the rain stopped, and we were blessed with the most exotic sunset. That's when the light show began. For those of you who are lucky enough to hold witness to night fire qualifications, you know what I mean by light show. For others who are not as well versed to the engineering of a gun, this is an abridged version of how it works. The mechanics of firing a gun is rather simple, but elegant. When you pull the trigger, the firing pin strikes the primer, which ignites the powder and causes an explosion. This expels the bullet from the gun, and the cartridge is ejected. At the same time the bullet is expelled, the ignited gasses escape the barrel, and a brief flash of fire explodes from the barrel of the gun. Boom, flash! It's pretty spectacular to see at night. We were lucky enough to time some of the photos to capture some of the muzzle blasts.
Taken from Governor Asa Hutchinson's website:
"Governor Asa Hutchinson has directed the state flag of Arkansas to be flown at half-staff in tribute to the memory of Staff Sergeant Robert Dale Van Fossen from sunrise May 25, 2017 to sunset on May 27, 2017."
Staff Sergeant Robert Dale Van Fossen graduated Greenbrier High School in 1949, to which he joined the Air Force. He was fluent in Russian, as was on his way to Elmendorf Air Force Base when the plane crashed. He and 51 other passengers perished in the crash, but due to the weather and remote terrain, they were unable to extricate them. The plane was discovered in 2012, and efforts were quickly underway to retrieve the remains. By March 2016, the identities of 31 service men had been positively identified.
You can read the proclamation and more here.
Most people know when the US Flag is lowered, that all other flags are lowered, as well. What about the State flag? Where do county, municipal, and company flags fly in relation to the state flag? According to the Arkansas Secretary of State's Office, when the state flag dips, the flags in question do, too.
You can also sign up for flag alerts from this site.
Memorial Day Travel Safety
Many Americans are planning to travel during the upcoming holiday weekend. A recent survey by Travelocity stated that nearly 80% of surveyed adults who said they plan to travel on Memorial Day, plan to travel by car. An article by AAA states that due to the low gas prices we have seen this year, more than a third of Americans plans to take a family vacation of 50 miles or more from home this year.
The following are good reminders as you prepare to take to the road during the Memorial Day travel weekend.
Buckle your safety belt – it’s the best way to stay safe in a vehicle and remember, the national Click It or Ticket program is in full swing over the holiday weekend Put down the cell phone – nearly 10 people are killed and over 1,000 injured every day in crashes involving distracted drivers – don’t text and drive! Don’t drink and drive – even one alcoholic drink can reduce your abilities and impair your judgment Be prepared – take a map, atlas, or GPS device; make sure your spare tire is inflated and you know how to change it; have your car serviced before heading out; include an emergency kit with water and snacks in case you’re stranded for more than a few hours; refuel BEFORE your gas warning indicator displays Turn down the music – hearing sirens and emergency vehicles is an important warning to slow down and drive cautiously - you may be approaching an accident scene Keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel – eating, looking for CDs, and digging for things in the floorboard or back seat can lead to trouble Get plenty of rest – make sure you’re well rested before getting behind the wheel, rotate driving duties with others in the car to avoid becoming too sleepy or distracted Take frequent breaks – stop, get out of the vehicle, and stretch your legs often Be courteous - because of the volume of vehicles on the road, you’re bound to run into a few traffic jams, be cut off, or be forced to stop short - remain calm and courteous - don’t let other drivers ruin your holiday
Travel safely and enjoy your Memorial Day weekend!
Sheriff Marty Boyd
newsroom.aaa.com – More Than One-third of Americans Will Take a Family Vacation This Year (4.21.16)
travelocity.mediaroom.com – Survey Finds Majority of Memorial Day Travelers Plan to Travel by Car This Year (5.3.16)
www.cdc.gov – Distracted Driving
Our web host, Brooks Jeffrey Computer Store, notified their customers of a new and potentially devastating virus that has affected over 74 countries already. They have prepared this information, along with tips on avoiding ransomware, in a printable flier, and we are sharing that with you. Please share this with your employees, also with your friends and families.
Career Day! It's a day when the kids are able to see a variety of career paths available to them in this area, sort of a mini-job fair. There was a fire truck, ambulance, motorcycle cops, and CWL brought in two of their specialty trucks. There was a school bus, Joey Perry's Karate, the USPS, and the guy who keeps everything working at VPA... the Maintenance Guy! Craighead County Sheriff's Office brought the MRAP and the K9's, Arko and Renko. I know these kids had a great time getting to see all the exciting job opportunities that we have here in Craighead County. These careers are just a fraction of the employment open to such a diverse community. Please enjoy some of the pictures we captured of the day.
Deputy Jamey Carter and Deputy Jason Simpkins
The Westside Explorer's Club met Thursday morning and were greeted by Craighead County Sheriff's Office Crisis Negotiation Team, comprised of Deputy Jamey Carter and Deputy Jason Simpkins. The CNT is part of the SWAT Team. Deputy Carter and Deputy Simpkins have nearly a decade of experience each, and approximately 25 successful negotiations combined. This team is called in when there is a stand-off, hostage situation, or a barricaded subject, to name a few examples. The CNT is there to help the person involved by not just talking to them, but also listening to them, and helping all involved end the situation safely. Deputy Carter described negotiations like see saws, with emotions on one end and the ability to think on the other. A see saw can't have both ends high in the air at one time. One has to be lower than the other for the see saw to work. People are the same way. If emotions are high, thought processes are not working. It is the job of the negotiators to bring the raised emotions to a level that allows thoughts to start working as they should. Deputy Carter also said the hardest part of negotiations is not getting caught up in the scene. As a negotiator, you build a rapport with the individual, and it's tough to not get involved emotionally. Deputy Simpkins added how emotionally draining these scenes can be. A negotiation can last 15 minutes or 3 hours, and during that time, the team member has to stay with the individual throughout. These two are an integral part of the SWAT team and a valuable asset to the CCSO.