BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - There's a good argument the job of law enforcement is harder now than ever before, especially in places with a history of strained relationships. Leaders at Tuesday's graduation of the Capital Area Regional Training Academy (CARTA) echoed that sentiment.
The 40 students who graduated from CARTA's intense training courses Tuesday will take their new skill sets back to various departments as they came from 15 different agencies from across the state.
CARTA is put on by the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office, and Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said the training in much needed in today's climate where not everybody automatically trusts law enforcement.
"You know to be a total law enforcement officer in today's society you have to be able to address all of those issues," Gautreaux said. "You can't just do one thing or be focused in on one area. It takes all of that."
Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley echoed those comments, saying officers and deputies on the streets can quickly encounter problems that seem simple at first.
"You know, it's a tough balance of being - not to be robotic, because you also want to be that type of service, sensitive guy about helping out people, but the traffic stop, the shoplifter, the suspicious person, daylight, dark-thirty, it doesn't matter, any of those things can quickly evolve into a life or death situation," Wiley said.
The 426-hour training includes firearms use, legal and report writing, officer survival techniques, physical training and many other topics.
Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard said his deputies bring home valuable training.
"What they do every day that's different than other occupations, is before they go to work they put a vest on to stop a bullet and they put gear on and hopefully that gear will help them make it home at the end of the day," Ard said, adding, "leaving their families knowing they may not see them again."