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DPD undergoes CPR training

Demopolis Police Department chief Tommie Reese and more than a dozen of his officers spent much of Tuesday morning in a CPR certification course. The certification program, conducted by members of AmStar, is part of a week of training half of the department’s officers is currently undergoing.

“Right now we’re doing inservice training for the entire week,” Reese said. The approach is a deviation from the department’s former scheme in which officers spent an hour each month in training.

The inservice began Monday with radar training. Tuesday was spent with officers going through the obligatory physical training test, learning how to deal with combat veterans and brushing up on SSGT tactics in addition to renewing CPR certification.

“The primary things we teach are court defensible techniques,” Sgt. Richard Bryant, a certified defense tactics instructor and DPD officer, said. “We try to teach you techniques to keep you in control.”

Bryant’s lessons taught officers grappling techniques as well as pressure point tactics while also educating officers on the effects of each maneuver, its usefulness and when it is necessary to use such training.

AmStar’s Mitchell Snipes oversaw the CPR training, which also saw assistance from Mandi Jordan and Mark Favela. The training, which lasted approximately three hours, allowed each officer to update certification while learning standard and hands-only CPR and proper usage of an automatic external defibrillator.

AmStar’s role in the week of training was made possible through the advent of AmStar PACE, Professional and Community Education.

“I do want to thank AmStar for coming in and giving the class,” Reese said. “We’ve got Judge (Wade) Drinkard and (District Attorney Greg Griggers coming Wednesdsay). We’ve got a wealth of knowledge.”

Griggers and Drinkard will assist the department in training that will focus on the proper methods of search and seizure and courtroom procedure.

Thursday will see officers go through diversity training and also learn the intricacies of dealing with the mentally ill.

The training will culminate Friday when the officers spend the day working on daytime and night firing.

“This course has been approved by the Alabama Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission,” Reese said of the week of study. “The training is done in house. I don’t have to send my officers out and pay for training, which is good with the economy like it is now.”

The other half of the department will undergo similar training during the month of May, effectively wrapping up the department’s annual training for 2011.