SALEMBURG — Hoping to give the residents of Salemburg and surrounding Sampson County an idea of what happens at the North Carolina Justice Academy, leaders of that organization opened its doors Sunday to the public.
Don Stacy, the deputy director of the academy, explained that this was one of the ways officials there could show everyone what is offered inside its walls in regards to law enforcement education.
“It think it is exciting for folks in Salemburg and in Sampson County to see our facility,” said Stacy.
In addition, the 150 guests who attended Sunday’s event, were also introduced to the academy’s newly-constructed gymnasium, with additional classrooms, where a ribbon-cutting was held, ushering in the new to replace the one built in 1955.
“We had our old gym taken down to put up a new one,” said Stacy. The new facility is complete with crime scene investigation equipment and a crime scene laboratory, explained Tami Warren, administrative assistant with the academy.
During the afternoon event, a variety of law enforcement agencies, including the State Bureau of Investigation and the Clinton Police Department, offered training demonstrations.
Stacy explained that by having these demonstrations, the community could better understand how various law enforcement officers are trained on the Justice Academy camput.
“People just don’t know the types of training that we have. All law enforcement agencies train on our campus,” Stacy advised.
Warren, who organized the event, established that there were 14 different booths set up to entertain people.
“We had a firearms demonstration, and we even had some to ride on our driving track,” said Warren.
“That was a lot of fun,” she emphasized about getting her own first chance to ride the track.
In regards to the firearm demonstrations, she stated that residents were able to examine the various types of guns that law enforcement are trained to use, another well-attended exhibit throughout the day.
The Clinton Police Department, she noted, provided its K-9 dog team to show visitors how the canine is used during investigations. Other agencies that came out to educate the public included the Highway Patrol and the State Bureau of Investigation.
She also pointed out that some of the children were entertained by two National Guard Blackhawk helicopters on display, as well as boats set up by the Sampson County Dive team.
“They thought that was cool,” said Warren.
In addition to helping the community understand the purpose of the campus in 2010, Stacy pointed out that a number of residents came for the opportunity to look back at the campus they once enjoyed.
“I think some of the locals just enjoyed coming just to see the campus of the old Pineland and Southwood College,” said Stacy of the two schools located on its campus many years ago. In fact, some may have even picked up pieces of wood that the academy kept as part of the old gymnasium as memorabilia.
Katie Holland can be reached at 910-592-8137, ext. 136, or by e-mail at email@example.com.