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Johnson County native instructs TCAT Criminal Justice course

Wayne South

Staff Report

ELIZABETHTON, Tenn.—The TCAT Elizabethton Criminal Justice program recently held its first “Field Training Officer” course. Wayne South, a native of Johnson County and retired field training officer, was the lead instructor in this 40-hour TCAT course. The course is designed to provide new field training officers with the basic skills needed to train new law enforcement and corrections agency recruits or employees.

Myles Cook, whose team teaches criminal justice with South, said, “This is the first time I’m aware of agencies and a college system partnering to train in this manner.”

“Attendees are trained to recognize the common problems which often occur with new employee hires,” Cook said. The course is recognized by both the Police Officers Standard Training and Tennessee Corrections Institute.

This vision of “shared training” between the college, corrections, and law enforcement agencies is a new model implemented by the TCAT Elizabethton Criminal Justice Program. Students attending the week-long TCAT course were from a variety of agencies, including Tennessee Department of Corrections, Ballad Health Security, Greeneville Police Department, Jonesborough Police Department, Carter County Sheriff’s Department, Johnson County Sheriff’s Department, Core Civic, Tennessee State Parks, and Northeast State Campus Police.

Cook said this was one of the most diverse classes he had seen in the arena of public safety training, which greatly benefits students in new ideas and the different ways field training can be achieved. According to Cook, this model offers a reasonable and low-to-no-cost option to greatly improve training within the state, job readiness and opportunity for prospective students, and greater hiring options and budget abilities for local and state agencies.

“This model’s mutual benefits cannot be overestimated, for students- agencies- and training,” Cook said.