POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) - The streets will be safer come Monday morning.
Over 50 officers graduated from the Law Enforcement Training Academy at Black River Technical College on Friday.
Graduate Molly Elders said she was honored to discover she was at the top of her class.
"I was thrilled," Elders said. "I was thrilled to be number one, especially with this group that we have here. They're some amazing people. Great competition when it came to our academics, our physical training and our firearms. So, to be called number one was a thrill. I'm very honored."
Director of LETA at BRTC Steve Shults said helping to train tomorrow's peace keepers has been one of the most rewarding things he's done in his career.
"I've been a policeman all my life," Shults said. "A state trooper, a deputy and this is the most rewarding thing I've ever done. To see them all come in here and not having a great skill set, but then leaving with a lot of ambition and skills and development. And then getting good reports from them in the field, their accomplishments, it's very rewarding."
Elders said what she learned at the training academy was invaluable.
"It's one of those things where I really do feel like the training has prepared me," Elders said. "You never stop learning, but they have really given us a great, great step up here at BRTC."
Elders will be working for Arkansas State Parks.
"It's quiet a career to choose," Elders said. "It's something that is an honor to be chosen and to be hired to work for state parks. I'm thrilled to be working for a state agency as well because I love Arkansas."
Shults said they work hard to prepare future officers for whatever they might face.
"The challenges have never been like they are now," Shults said. "They're continually being scrutinized more than ever. Even before the facts come out they seem to catch a negative twist without anybody really knowing what happened."
Shults said the public rarely sees all the good things officers do simply because they want to help.
"They're changing flat tires for people in the rain," Shults said. "They're carrying groceries in for the elderly. They're doing all this stuff, but nobody ever sees that. But we have an outstanding group. These guys are going to do terrific."
For more information about the Law Enforcement Training Academy, click here.
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