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Training for mounted patrol begins Tuesday

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
Sept. 23, 2001
Training for a new mounted patrol division of the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department, manned by volunteers, begins Tuesday night at Meridian Community College.
Maj. Ward Calhoun said Friday that 11 people have joined the mounted patrol so far and it's not too late for more to sign up.
The volunteers will be trained using a curriculum approved by Mississippi's Minimum Standards Board, and will be certified as special deputies when the classes are completed.
Classes will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays, at 6 p.m., in Webb Hall. Each class will last from two to four hours; sessions will continue through November.
The fee for the course is $150, and participants must own a horse, which must be approved for the program by the sheriff's department.
Those not going through training will be assisting in search and rescue operations, especially in wooded areas, Calhoun said. Mounted patrol volunteers helping with search and rescue can be as young as 16, but those being trained as mounted officers must be at least 21.
The patrol will provide security at large events like State Games of Mississippi, Relay for Life, state fairs, football games and concerts.
The MCC program includes classes on professionalism, radio procedures, first officer on the scene, officer awareness, contagious diseases and hazardous materials, use of force, criminal law and firearms training.
Registration will be held Tuesday. Calhoun said anyone interested can call him at 917-8888 or 482-9897. He said people can also join by simply showing up Tuesday night at Webb Hall.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3275, or e-mail her at sblackmon@themeridianstar.com.

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