By Megan Sando
STILLWATER, Okla. —
The Payne County Sheriff’s Office will do something it hasn’t done in years Friday — hold a graduation ceremony for reserve deputies.
The department’s Reserve Academy will hold its graduation ceremony at 7 p.m. Friday at the Sunnybrook Christian Church.
Reserve officers go through a Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training certified, 240 hour, three day a week training academy for part-time, volunteer officers.
The academy started Feb. 26 and ended Tuesday.
Once participants complete the academy, they may only work up to 125 hours per month.
This is the first reserve academy graduation since 1971, when the Payne County Sheriff’s Office held the first training academy in the state.
Payne County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Annette Anderson said she joined the Reserve Academy to help serve the community and further her career in law enforcement.
“For me, especially because I already work at the department, it pulled everything together and gave me a better understanding of how the system works as a whole,” Anderson said.
That system is comprehensively covered by the academy’s volunteer instructors and officers.
Nixon develops the schedule, coordinates instructors to teach the training blocks and develops hands-on training. Nixon said training went smoothly.
“It is a condensed version of the full-time academy,” he said. “Whereas full-time officers stay in Ada for approximately 582 hours of training, this is a scaled-down version."
Training blocks include report writing, legal matters, firearms, custody and control, traffic, patrol, criminal investigation, human relations and law enforcement driver training. A series of exams must also be passed, including the CLEET certification exam.
In training, most participants seemed to enjoy the practical exercises, such as practicing traffic stops, Nixon said.
Nixon said reserve officers really help the department.
Payne Sheriff R.B. Hauf said the reserves may be used for prisoner transport and various events such as the Payne County Fair and parades. Reserve officers may also assist with fires, tornadoes and traffic control.
The academy started with 18 participants and 12 will graduate Friday, Hauf said.
Anderson, who lives in Cushing, said her days started at 7 a.m. and didn’t end until midnight. She said the most difficult part was being away from her family.
“It was very hard, but not anything I felt I couldn’t overcome.”