WINONA – Officers with the Winona Police Department recently received advanced training in search and seizure – another way the city is waging a war on drugs, Chief Tommy Bibbs said.
Recently, the Winona Board of Aldermen voted to hire Narcotics Specialist Rodney Williams to help the Winona Police Department in the department’s ongoing fight against narcotics.
Williams explained that Winona’s crack-down on drugs has three phases – training, prevention, and drug enforcement operations.
Williams said his first order of business in taking the contracted position was to provide advanced training for police officers.
“The first thing you have to address is training,” Williams said.
Williams said the police academy trains its recruits as entry level officers for large departments – officers who will work their way up the ranks through testing and on-the-job experience. However, in smaller departments, that is not what a new officer will face.
“Here you do everything,” Williams said. “You do patrol, investigation, [and so on.]”
For prevention, plans are being made to work with local schools to educate students about the dangers of drugs, especially in light of the current opioid crisis, Williams said.
The recent training was to review the basics of search and seizure and inform officers about new laws that have come out and how to properly apply them in certain situations.
“We teach police etiquette,” Williams said. “In this place and time, you have to be officer friendly plus two. In the present atmosphere, policing has changed.”
Williams explained that the four-hour training also focused on officer safety.
“Winona’s officers wear body cams for the officer’s protection and the person’s protection,” Williams said.