CAMDEN By BRADLY GILL
The Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy held its graduation for basic police training Friday. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge was the guest speaker and Officer Daniel Hughes of Camden graduated from Squad D and will serve with the Camden Police Department.
Coby Heard of the Dermott Police Department sang the National Anthem.
Honor graduates for physical fitness were Thomas Carrol of the McGehee police department, for firearms William Lipsmeyer of the Conway Police Department took first and James Goode of the Union County Sheriffs off took first place in academics.
Carrol, who was also class leader, gave a speech in which he referenced Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken,” and mentioned the rough road the recruits were embarking on. Carrol said the group would miss birthdays, anniversaries and holidays, but it was well worth it to keep the public safe.
Jami Cook, director of the Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Testing, told the graduates a story of Trooper Donald Browne, who was shot and disabled in the line of duty, but was there to watch his son, Daniel Browne, graduate to serve in Arkansas Parks and Tourism.
Cooke also told the story of a young child with a chromosome disorder who was diagnosed with a terminal illness.
On a ride to the hospital in the ambulance, the child gained great pleasure from hearing the sirens. An officer in the child’s neighborhood heard this and arranged a virtual parade of law enforcement officials who would come by with their sirens lit up. On the way to the hospital the child radioed in “Be Strong. I love you. 10-4”
Cook also mentioned the thin-blue-line flag provided to that child and to Camden’s Oakley Nimmo - a child battling cancer.
Rutledge told the cadets about Bible character Nehemiah, a cup bearer to king Artaxerxes who had great courage in asking his king for permission to return to Jerusalem and protect his city. She likened this example to the graduates’ lives of service in which they would go forth and protect the people in their neighborhoods.