By Morgan Goddard, Contributing Writer
Many people might remember the police training that took on January 11th. However, what people might not have noticed is how much effort goes into organizing and carrying out the training. Captain Thomas Hostutler of the West Liberty University Police Department had much to say about exactly the department does during their training.
“First of all, all Law Enforcement Officers in the State of West Virginia must have 16 hours of training each year along with firearms qualifications,” Hostutler said.
“The firearms qualifications is done twice a year once in the daylight and once in low level lighting (Flash Lights and Lights from the patrol cars).” He also said that continuous training is important because, “The State of West Virginia does have a Police Academy, but once each officer has been through the academy and is hired by a department in the state, it is up to the department and the officer to maintain his certification.”
“Training Classes can be held within the department or by other departments throughout the state, some classes need to be paid for and others are free of charge,” Hostutler said, “but all the training sessions must be taught by a certificated instructor.”
The training is not just limited to what the force went through that day. “The training can entail anything that the State of West Virginia approves of first and needless to say this is done through a committee that has offices in Charleston. Over the years I have had training in Courtroom Testifying, Active Shooting, Safe Schools, and Drugs that impair and so on,” Hostutler said.
He then explained, “We receive a schedule of training going on throughout the state. Some of the training we travel for, and some the training is sponsored by our department and is held on the main campus as well as the Highlands.”
Yet, training is not all about the physical effort, there is a more human and personal side to it as well. “It brings the training closer to home for a lot of the departments around us as well as our department,” Hostutler said, “It gives all the departments around the state a chance to interact with each other and the officers a chance to meet and get to know each other.”
It was not only our campus police that went through the training. “Over the years we have trained with many, many departments throughout the state and the State of Ohio,” Hostutler said. “It is not all that uncommon to see the Ohio County Sheriff’s Department and Wheeling Police SRT Teams training on campus as well as the K-9 Units.”
“We have hosted the Federal Certification for K-9 Units a few times on campus. Again it helps the departments and officers get to know each other as well as the layout of the campus and buildings should something go wrong,” Hostutler said.
The students, faculty, and staff of West Liberty University should be very proud of our police force. The amount of effort they put in to be the best officers for the campus is outstanding. We should all take comfort in knowing how well trained and able the officers are. For more information about campus police, check out their website here.