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Training, education standards outlined for proposed mounted patrol

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
Aug. 9, 2001
The Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department is developing educational requirements for volunteers interested in joining a proposed auxiliary mounted patrol division.
Sheriff Billy Sollie said Meridian Community College offers training for the department's reserve and part-time officers. The curriculum is approved by the state's Minimum Standards Board, he said.
The sheriff's department is considering offering three levels of training for mounted patrol officers. The first level is the same as other auxiliary deputies complete a little more than 220 hours of curriculum, hands-on experience and weapons training followed by certification by the state.
The second level would be that of a special deputy. Officers would not be required by the state to go through the certification process, but they would be required by the sheriff's department to have 100 hours of training.
The third level, he said, would consist of officers who have little or no training and do not wear a uniform. These officers would assist only in search and rescue operations.
The state requires reserve officers be at least 21 years old, but those assisting in only search and rescue could be as young as 16, he said.
Volunteers would pay their own tuition, which is expected to cost $100-$150 for 100 hours and up to $300 for full training resulting in certification.
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.