City of Jacksonville


Council Members Participate in Police Training

July 24, 2004

On Saturday, July 24, 2004, Jacksonville City Council Members Art Shad, District 5; Jerry Holland, District 3; Glorious Johnson, At-Large, Group 5; Mia Jones, District 10; Art Graham, District 13; and Kevin Hyde, At-Large, Group 4, along with his wife Kathi, participated in Police Training.

Sheriff John Rutherford greeted Council members to brief them on new procedures and equipment being utilized by the JSO, as well as sharing ideas that he would like to see implemented in recruiting and training police officers in the future. After a tour of the facilities on Capper Road, the Council members began training, which included strategies for detaining a suspect, using defensive hand-to-hand combat tactics, pursuit driving, and the prism, which is a shoot/don't shoot simulator.

Councilman Holland said, 'As members of the City Council, we wanted to participate in the police training to give us a better understanding of what is expected of those asked to protect and serve. We have found from past experience that hands-on training also enables us to better understand the talent, tools and training police officers need to do their job safely and successfully.'

Council members learned early on how important it was in police work to possess quick thinking, a cool head, the right tools for the job, and a knowledge of proper police procedures and techniques. This was mostly due to the guidance and leadership of officers participating in Saturday's hands-on training. They were Director Michael Edwards, Chief Rick Lewis, Assistant Chief Mark Stevens, Sgt. Buster French, and Officers Charlie Pearson, Traci Leverett, John Gifford, Charles Baerman, and Ric Villanueva.

During each part of the training, the Council members were individually coached and tested on their own skill level with driving, shooting, and hand-to-hand defensive tactics.

Councilwoman Johnson added, 'This training was intense but enlightening. We learned about some of the equipment our police officers need to do their job. Also, it was a great opportunity to meet and work with some of the brave men and women who risk their life on a daily basis to keep us safe!'

Additional training is planned for the future.