Drop in police training numbers not blamed on national violence

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DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. -- Finding a class teaching Basic Law Enforcement Training in the Triad is not difficult. A few years ago, though, getting into one of those classes was.

According to instructors the drop in demand for the introduction to the law enforcement curriculum has more to do with an improving economy than the string of officer shootings or officer-involved shootings that have continued to dominate the news since the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in 2014.

“It comes up just about every other class,” said Tim Surratt, who’s hoping to become a police officer after more than 20 years in the furniture business. “They're talking about how law enforcement has changed in the last few years; it used to be dangerous, but now it's becoming a lot more dangerous.”

Surratt said he and others in the class don’t worry about what has happened in the past but on how they can impact the future.

“We're not here trying to hurt people and I think just those few cases have hurt the image [of police] a little bit, but hopefully that can come back,” said Surratt.

Kenyata "Shay" Craven is also in the class with hopes of finding a job near her home in Lexington. She thinks there are more people like her looking for a law enforcement job than ever before.

“I always wanted to help people and my community. I've always been on the right path. I always wanted to do the right things,” said Craven.