ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - A few weeks ago we took a look at the first week of the Alexandria Regional Police Academy.
Now, roughly halfway through, the cadets are spending the week learning a key part of being an officer; the ins and outs of a firearm.
"A lot of cadets are learning how to shoot their weapons very accurately,” explained Cadet Lory Malone. “We have the greatest instructors, I believe, in the state."
Malone is one of around 30 cadets with the academy going through the required 80 hour class at the shooting range.
The firearms instructor, Sergeant Chris Wolf, said the cadets start by learning about their firearm.
"They learn proper weapon selection, proper ammunition selection, the function of a weapon, proper maintenance, proper cleaning," explained Sgt. Wolf.
He said they then put the firearms to use.
"Once we meet those guidelines we want to exceed them and push each individual to their full potential in marksmanship and knowledge of the firearm," said Sgt. Wolf.
Sgt. Wolf also said the class focuses on team building. The cadets form groups to train and perform duties.
"It lets you know, really, who is going to have your back and who's not," said Malone.
Cadet Malone said he has a bit of experience with firearms already.
"I have had eight years military experience,” explained Malone. “Three years in the navy and five years in the army."
But he said he's more than happy to go through academy anyway.
"When we're back at the academy doing lots of exercises, the only thing I’m thinking about is my little three-year-old telling me 'Daddy, I want to be an officer just like you,’” expressed Malone. “And that's motivation for me."
Instructors said with that kind of attitude the cadets will not only be ready for their final qualification on Friday, but also for their career as an officer.
"We take them from basically zero to 100 mile per hour in that week's time to get everyone up to speed on their firearms," said Sgt. Wolf.
The cadets will head back to the shooting range periodically during the academy for shotgun training and night fire among other classes.