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Officers involved in training exercise

“There’s no such thing as a routine traffic stop or arrest,” says Pulaski County Sheriff Jim Davis.
That’s why the department’s officers spent several days this past week shooting at each other with simulated ammunition.
Davis says the bruise from one of the wax bullets will “go away in about three days,” but it’s the sting of getting hit that “leaves a lasting memory.”
But that feeling is not all Davis hopes is gained from the training exercises. He hopes the surprises officers were subjected to in the simulated incidents will instill in them how quickly situations can spiral out of control.
“Our goal is always to revert back to our training and knowledge, and that’s how we survive on the streets,” the sheriff said.
The training sessions help point out potentially fatal mistakes officers can make in what might be perceived as a routine situation, but they, more importantly, help the officers “achieve a higher level of awareness,” said Sgt. Joey Williams.
Williams put his fellow officers to the test by pretending to be the driver of a vehicle involved in a traffic stop.
Other simulated scenarios included a disgruntled employee who refuses a boss’s order to leave and the serving of a warrant on an angry person.
As in real life, the reaction of the “bad guy” varies in each simulation so officers never know what to expect.
For example, in one training session, Williams said he didn’t take any action against the officer, but the officer was staying alert and expecting something to happen. If officers learn to maintain that same level of alertness when they get out on the road, their chances of having a safe career are much enhanced.
“If an officer is doing what he’s trained to do, he shouldn’t ever get hurt,” Davis said.
In some cases, Williams exited the vehicle and shot at officers filling out a summons in a patrol car or walking back to their patrol car.
Davis recalled one situation where an officer was so engrossed in filling out the paperwork that the “bad guy” was able to walk back to the patrol car and shoot the officer through the driver’s side window.
Officers have to always be prepared for the unexpected, he said.
In a second session, two officers arrived at a simulated business to remove an uncooperative, disgruntled employee who had just been fired by the human resources director. When the officers entered the room, the employee was seated next to the human resources officer and there was a handgun laying on a table between the men, within easy reach of the employee.
The officers drew their weapons and ordered the “employee” to move back away from the gun, but the employee refused to do so. Suddenly, the employee grabbed the gun and started firing at the officers, who returned fire and shot the employee several times, sending him to the ground.
In that situation, one of the officers was struck in the arm, but the employee was the only person who was seriously, if not fatally, wounded. Not only did the officers have to protect themselves, they also had to protect the human resources officer from being shot by the employee or one of their bullets.
After the exercise, Davis pointed out how an officer taking part in a similar situation earlier in the day had been struck in the throat. He noted that it depicted a wound that most likely would have been fatal.
In a third exercise, an officer became involved in a fight with a man while trying to serve a warrant on him. The officer was able to take the man to the ground and handcuff him.
The department holds similar training sessions at least yearly in an effort to help keep officers from getting complacent, Davis said. The training goes beyond what is mandated by the state.
Officers often suggest ideas for other training exercises as a result of a prior training session.
The sessions are video taped to use as a training tool and to help officers pinpoint their weaknesses.
This is the first time the department used “Simunition” and “Simunition” guns as part of the learning process. Officers wore their bullet-proof vests and were given protective head gear to keep from getting hit in the face and injured by a “bullet.”
In the past, the department used fake guns that would make a firing sound, but they did not specify where, or if, the person was struck.
That’s an advantage the simulated ammunition offers. Both the police and “suspects” could see who got shot, where they were shot, and which side fired each shot because the officers had one color of wax bullets and the suspects had another color. When a bullet hit something, its color was deposited where it hit.
But even though the officers train for situations involving lethal weapons, Davis said the training also stresses the use of non-lethal means to resolve a situation if possible.
“All training starts with them giving (the suspect) verbal commands, but it’s the suspect’s actions that dictate where it goes from there,” the sheriff said.
Some of the items officers use in training exercises include simulated pepper spray and tear gas, as well as padded asps. Asps are telescoping batons that can be used to subdue a suspect or to break out an automobile window if a driver refuses to get out.
All of the department’s sworn officers were put through the training.

Officers involved in training exercise

“There’s no such thing as a routine traffic stop or arrest,” says Pulaski County Sheriff Jim Davis.
That’s why the department’s officers spent several days this past week shooting at each other with simulated ammunition.
Davis says the bruise from one of the wax bullets will “go away in about three days,” but it’s the sting of getting hit that “leaves a lasting memory.”
But that feeling is not all Davis hopes is gained from the training exercises. He hopes the surprises officers were subjected to in the simulated incidents will instill in them how quickly situations can spiral out of control.
“Our goal is always to revert back to our training and knowledge, and that’s how we survive on the streets,” the sheriff said.
The training sessions help point out potentially fatal mistakes officers can make in what might be perceived as a routine situation, but they, more importantly, help the officers “achieve a higher level of awareness,” said Sgt. Joey Williams.
Williams put his fellow officers to the test by pretending to be the driver of a vehicle involved in a traffic stop.
Other simulated scenarios included a disgruntled employee who refuses a boss’s order to leave and the serving of a warrant on an angry person.
As in real life, the reaction of the “bad guy” varies in each simulation so officers never know what to expect.
For example, in one training session, Williams said he didn’t take any action against the officer, but the officer was staying alert and expecting something to happen. If officers learn to maintain that same level of alertness when they get out on the road, their chances of having a safe career are much enhanced.
“If an officer is doing what he’s trained to do, he shouldn’t ever get hurt,” Davis said.
In some cases, Williams exited the vehicle and shot at officers filling out a summons in a patrol car or walking back to their patrol car.
Davis recalled one situation where an officer was so engrossed in filling out the paperwork that the “bad guy” was able to walk back to the patrol car and shoot the officer through the driver’s side window.
Officers have to always be prepared for the unexpected, he said.
In a second session, two officers arrived at a simulated business to remove an uncooperative, disgruntled employee who had just been fired by the human resources director. When the officers entered the room, the employee was seated next to the human resources officer and there was a handgun laying on a table between the men, within easy reach of the employee.
The officers drew their weapons and ordered the “employee” to move back away from the gun, but the employee refused to do so. Suddenly, the employee grabbed the gun and started firing at the officers, who returned fire and shot the employee several times, sending him to the ground.
In that situation, one of the officers was struck in the arm, but the employee was the only person who was seriously, if not fatally, wounded. Not only did the officers have to protect themselves, they also had to protect the human resources officer from being shot by the employee or one of their bullets.
After the exercise, Davis pointed out how an officer taking part in a similar situation earlier in the day had been struck in the throat. He noted that it depicted a wound that most likely would have been fatal.
In a third exercise, an officer became involved in a fight with a man while trying to serve a warrant on him. The officer was able to take the man to the ground and handcuff him.
The department holds similar training sessions at least yearly in an effort to help keep officers from getting complacent, Davis said. The training goes beyond what is mandated by the state.
Officers often suggest ideas for other training exercises as a result of a prior training session.
The sessions are video taped to use as a training tool and to help officers pinpoint their weaknesses.
This is the first time the department used “Simunition” and “Simunition” guns as part of the learning process. Officers wore their bullet-proof vests and were given protective head gear to keep from getting hit in the face and injured by a “bullet.”
In the past, the department used fake guns that would make a firing sound, but they did not specify where, or if, the person was struck.
That’s an advantage the simulated ammunition offers. Both the police and “suspects” could see who got shot, where they were shot, and which side fired each shot because the officers had one color of wax bullets and the suspects had another color. When a bullet hit something, its color was deposited where it hit.
But even though the officers train for situations involving lethal weapons, Davis said the training also stresses the use of non-lethal means to resolve a situation if possible.
“All training starts with them giving (the suspect) verbal commands, but it’s the suspect’s actions that dictate where it goes from there,” the sheriff said.
Some of the items officers use in training exercises include simulated pepper spray and tear gas, as well as padded asps. Asps are telescoping batons that can be used to subdue a suspect or to break out an automobile window if a driver refuses to get out.
All of the department’s sworn officers were put through the training.