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Tenn. recruit collapsed during training, was sworn in as officer before death

Officer Wisbens Antoine was a Knoxville Police Department recruit scheduled to graduate the academy in March; he is survived by his wife and two children

By Joanna Putman

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A Tennessee police recruit has died after collapsing during a training exercise, 10 News reported.

Officer Wisbens Antoine, 32, was a member of the Knoxville Police Department’s 2023 B Basic Recruit Class, scheduled to graduate March 5, according to the report. Antoine collapsed after completing a 1.5-mile run on Feb. 23. Details on what led to the collapse have not been released.

Antoine was taken to a hospital in critical condition where a judge and the Knoxville Police Department command staff made him an officer, according to the report.

“I picked up the phone in the middle of the night, called Judge Caviness... and with the blessing of his wife, with our entire command staff, the mayor, the training academy staff, every one of his classmates and untold members of the department gathered in his room... we swore him in as a Knoxville Police officer,” Chief Paul Noel said.

One of Antoine’s fellow recruits and classmates swore the oath on his behalf, and a badge was placed over his heart, according to the report. He was honored with a police procession after he died on Feb. 25.

Antoine is survived by his wife and two children, according to the report.