How local police officers use training exercises to prepare for worst case scenarios

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Police officers encounter a lot of different scenarios while out on patrol. 59News followed alongside patrolmen with the Beckley Police Department to see how they prepare for worst case scenarios.

Six weeks ago, the City of Beckley swore in six patrolmen. Since then, they have spent many hours in the classroom, in simulations, and on the range. Any officer will tell say nothing can truly prepare someone for a worst case scenario situation.

One of these scenarios is an active school shooter. These patrolmen conducted a training scenario at Woodrow Wilson High School on Tuesday, January 5, 2020. Patrolman Luke Appell shared what was running through his mind as he entered the school.

“Oh okay this is real, here we go. We can talk about the smells you’re gonna smell, the things you’re gonna see, but once you get in there and start doing it, it becomes very real,” said Appell.

Sgt. Jamie Blume said the focus of the training scenarios is to put the patrolmen in the middle of dangerous situations, and give them the tools to handle whatever they may encounter.

“Six weeks ago these guys were sworn in and its human nature, we all have survival instincts an we all wanna run away from danger,” Blume explained.

Sgt. Blume said as a training officer, he wants to turn the practice and procedures into second nature for the patrolmen.

“I can’t guarantee their safety. Ultimately, we don’t know what their fight is going to look like out here, but it is my job to give them every tool that I can possibly give them to make sure that they are as safe as possible going into whatever situation they are going to encounter,” said Sgt. Blume.

One of the things patrolmen are taught in this specific scenario is to fight the urge to stop and help an injured person. In the drill, they are viewed as the first officer on the scene and they are taught to find the shooter first, knowing other officers are behind them to help any victims.

“You have to, inside of you, you have to fight, because as much as you want to stop and help them, the greater thing is what’s beyond you have to keep moving.” said Appell

Preparing patrolmen for the worst, while they train to become the best.

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