Lancaster police first to try a new training tool

November 18, 2013 by  

On Wednesday, November 5, Lancaster police officers were able to take advantage of a new training device provided by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy.

The mobile tool is a structure made of pipes designed to hold heavy plastic tarpaulins, which can be moved and rearranged to mimic rooms and hallways in various buildings. In addition, the officers used real handguns equipped with special ammo that had paint balls on the ends of the rounds. Using authentic weapons allowed the officers to experience a situation that was more lifelike than if they had been using training weapons or paintball guns.

Andrew Russell, a training officer, noted that patrol officers are the backbone of any law enforcement agency, but it can be difficult to get the training they need, since most training monies are given to SWAT teams, which train every month. Russell noted patrol officers are often the last to receive any kind of specialized instruction, even though they encounter the same situations as SWAT officers.

The unit in which the officers trained was designed to give them practice in methods of clearing buildings, as well as basic weapons use. Each of the “rooms” in the “building” had numbered targets in it. Officers had to decide very quickly whether the target was a potential danger or not, and if they were going to have to shoot.

A total of 16 officers, men and women, took part in the training. Lancaster police officials could work with brochure printers to create a mailer explaining it, and how it will enable them to provide better protection to residents.