RIPLEY - A local law enforcement officer has recently graduated from one of the most rigorous and toughest training exercises of his career. Ptl. Jamie Hart has returned from the WV State Police Academy. In an interview Hart spoke about his experience at the training facility.

Hart was a graduate from Ripley High School in 1998. He has earned college credits toward a Criminal Justice Degree and has worked as a first responder before he began his career in law enforcement.

Said Hart, “I believe my hire date for the Ripley Police Department was January 1, 2013. It was a long hiring process. There was a physical and background check and I had to take a polygraph. I had and interview and a psychology exam too. Before I was hired into the Ripley Police Department I was as a 911 dispatcher for 12 years and a volunteer firefighter in the Ripley Fire Department for 15 years. I do fire prevention activities talking to kids about safety and prevention.

Hart stated that he has taken many training courses that help him perform his duties as a police officer. The list is pretty impressive.

“I have had numerous classes training through the fire department and 911 Emergency Services,” shared Hart. “I’ve had training in hostage negotiations, suicide prevention, domestic violence, active shooter training, rope rescue, arson detection and explosive recognition. I worked with kids as a volunteer with CASA for three years. I also have a pyrotechnic license. I am one of the people who set of fireworks for 4th July in Ripley. I have a binder full of certificates.”

Hart shared the personal importance of his career choice.

“This is something I have wanted to do since I was a child,” said Hart. “The Ripley Police Department is the only agency I had ever tested for. This is my hometown. Its where I grew up and continue to live,” said the officer.

However the road to the academy has not been an easy one for Hart. The officer stated that physical issues delayed his training.

“My biggest challenge was overcoming a health issue,” said Hart. “It delayed me from going to the academy. After having a medical procedure I had to start all over with my physical training and rebuild my strength.”

Hart pushed onward to make his career choice a reality. As a result of his efforts, Hart was finally able to attend the academy starting on August 26 in156th basic class.

In the future, Hart stated that he would do his best to protect and serve the citizens of Ripley.

Said the academy graduate, “I hope to do my part working with the other city officers and the sheriff’s deputies and troopers to keep this area safe. How many towns or cities are left where people feel safe walking alone whether its 3 p.m. or 3a.m.? I want the public to know that we have some hard working and honest officers protecting them.”