Mercer County deputies train for high stress situations


The Mercer County Sheriff’s Department is doing extensive training this week to prepare deputies for high stress situations. 
They are doing a firearm in-service.  59News spent the day with them to get an inside look at the training. 
The idea is to get their heart rate up, and their stress level up, and then see if they can still perform their duties as an officer. 
At the end of the obstacle course, there was a scenario where officers had to decide how to handle a robber and a victim, before the robber would shoot the victim. 
Chief Darrell Bailey explains how this scenario helps prepare deputies for real-life situations, “it is going to be very stressful and your heart rate will increase, your fine motor skills will decrease and so we want to create the training to where what happens in training  that’s what you’ll do in a real situation.”
The course included running, carrying a 50 pound punching bag, shooting a target, taking cover, boxing, jumping over and going under a roped off section, and the course ends with a robber getting ready to shoot a victim and you have to try to stop him. 
59News Reporter Cortney Vannatter went through the course, at the end, she froze. The robber pointed his simunition gun at her and she got nervous. Chief Bailey explains why I did this even in a practice situation. “The freezing is where you went into what we would call condition black, and that’s just from stress, so you know the repetition keeps us in condition orange.”
Detective Corporal William Rose, who has been an officer for seventeen years, says he’s been in several high stress situations, but that it’s still good to get extra practice, “It makes us think, make us be aware of our surroundings, to make us play close attention to what’s going on. As far as the scenario I was in, you know, paying attention to which one is actually going after the gun, it helps hone and direct our attention to what we need to be looking for when were on the streets.”
The weapons they used for all of the obstacle course were simunition guns. They are very similar to a real gun, except the cartridge is a plastic bullet. 

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