What We Should Know About Our Police Force

When most people think of campus police, they probably think campus police just deal with drunk teenagers and young adults. However, not everyone realizes how hard their job actually is and the kind of training they have to engage in to protect us everyday. Their jobs are just as hard as regular police officers and they receive the same training as the officers of the state. The only difference is the title given to each of them, campus officers versus your regular everyday police officers.

Becoming a police officer is extremely hard work and takes lots of time and effort to complete. However, I didn’t realize just how hard it was. Sergeant Tom Lurhsen of the MSU Campus Police said training is about three and a half months at the academy at the Law Enforcement Academy in Helena and it covers a wide range of things that a police officer does, from investigations to handling arrests, and everything in between. Every weekday of those three and a half months from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., the recruits are taught how to deal with stress, trained to keep themselves safe and to make sure they keep civilians in their charge safe as well.

Along with this, campus police are also trained in Crisis Intervention by the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT). CIT is the training to help everyday individuals deal with mentally ill citizens so they can help them in the best way possible. People who take CIT are taught how to deal with someone who might be suicidal, told to sympathize and taught how to do so if they don’t know how. It’s an optional course not all police officers take. However, campus officers take this course no matter what because it’s the kind of training they will need. Lurhsen stated “[CIT] teaches advanced skills on how to communicate properly and how to understand the different issues that people are going through.”

Knowing your police officers are capable of taking care of a situation and believing in them wholeheartedly gives the people you protect a new way of looking at possible situations and can help keep them calm in the event of something terrible happening. Hearing these officers tell you how proficient they are at using their firearms and the type of training they have to go through contrasts with some of the stereotypes their positions as campus police officers might have. Lurhsen was very clear about how much faith they have in their fellow officers that they’ll be able to handle whatever is thrown at them.