- Associated Press - Friday, February 13, 2015

BENTON, La. (AP) - Twenty-six recruits from nine north Louisiana law enforcement agencies are starting an 11½-week certification course.

The Peace Officers Standards and Training program starts Friday at the North Louisiana Criminal Justice Academy between Benton and Plain Dealing.

Bossier Parish Sheriff Julian Whittington says recruits are from sheriff’s offices in Bienville, Bossier, Union and Webster parishes, and police departments for Bossier City, Dixie Inn, Many, Minden and the LSU Health Sciences Center.

They’ll be trained on officer survival, active shooter, officer down scenarios, academics and weapons qualifications. The training will also include physical fitness, chemical weapons, legal, defensive tactics, driving, diversity, professionalism and other topics.

The academy features a shooting simulator, 30-station firing range, a defense tactics training facility, tiered classrooms and a five-story rappelling tower.

Graduation day is scheduled May 15.

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