Police Director Tells Academy Officers To Keep Stress Out Of Training Recruits

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - The Memphis Police Recruit class of 150 men and women have been in the spotlight since day one.

They held a big ceremony welcoming the group when they first arrived in March. There had never been a ceremony at the training academy quite like the one they held for this group, with police helicopters and all the latest crime fighting equipment sitting in the lot.

Once the cameras left, and the training got going, we're told that's when problems began.

"We have a couple of officers that have been moved," said Mike Williams, head of the Memphis Police Association. "We have, you know, it's been pretty much stated or assumed, hands off these guys, we don't want to lose them."

Memphis Police Association President Mike Williams says normal police academy training is very much like military boot camp.

Theres a good reason for it, he says.

"The academy is designed to put you under pressure and under stress in a controlled environment," he says, "... so that you will better be able to cope when you get on the outside."

Williams says standards have been lowered when it comes to the grade needed to pass a test, and how many tests a recruit can fail before flunking out.

In a statement from Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings, it appears things are easier for these recruits.

Rallings says, "I have made it clear that our instructors will not be a cause of stress while attending the training academy. Preparing for a career of law enforcement is stressful enough."

Mayor Jim Strickland says nothing has changed. "Absolutely not," he says, "... absolutely not. Remember Director Rallings ran the academy for awhile. He knows how to do that job. And he's a tough guy, and being a police officer is tough. The academy is a tough place to go through."



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