Lubbock police officers are asked to put themselves in danger everyday, which is why their training during the academy is so important to how the recruits will handle themselves on the streets. NewsChannel 11 spoke with instructors about how the change in training coincides with the change of a more violent society.
Lubbock police recruits examine every room as if there were a threat behind every corner, during today's building searches. The past ten years have given police new challenges with the shootings at Columbine High School and the Oklahoma City bombing, now, more than ever, police have had to take a new approach to training recruits. Sgt. Dennis Kelley, an academy instructor, says, "The last 10 to 15 years we have been able to observe things, get statistics, and understand which things could occur and teach these to recruits."
Police now have better equipment, and more time set aside for training, but LPD instructors say you can never fully prepare for a dangerous situation. Kelley says, "It's a little more hazardous in today's world to search buildings, and it's important for our recruits to understand how dangerous this is and how much they need to use these tools we give them."
Lubbock police get a building alarm call nearly everyday, which is why the training is so important because you never know who could be waiting inside. Recruit Ernie Garcia says, "It's part of our job, during an alarm call we make sure no one is in the building."
Even though most alarms are false, instructors want recruits to take every call seriously, and remember the most important rule, which Garcia says, "I think safety is the number one concern. We're not sure what we're going to find inside, so we respect the whole situation."
The police recruits have a little over eight weeks left of their 23 weeks of academy before they are put on the streets to begin their field training.
|Courts & Crime|