Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon always says it’s not a matter of if a deputy’s life will be put in danger, it’s when.
“We’ve just got to be ready for it. You perform how you train, so it’s important to do this kind of training.”
FBI Principal Firearms Instructor Rob Chadwick says it’s all part of their Law Enforcement Training for Safety and Survival Training.
"Here in South Carolina, these officers get 12 weeks of training at the academy which is just simply not enough for a 20-plus year career," Chadwick said. "To keep them sharp, this training simply provides another opportunity to sharpen some skills they already have, introduce them to some skills they may not have seen. Any time you have an opportunity to train and hone those skills, it’s a good thing."
Law enforcement from all over the state came to Lexington County this week for the four-day class that Sheriff Koon says goes above and beyond a normal class.
"It helps recreate a real-life situation meaning they’re winded, the stress level is up, also they’re moving and shooting," Koon said. "In real life you’re never standing still shooting at a target. You’re shooting and moving, trying to maintain good tactics, so it replicates that."
The officers went through many scenarios from shooting at different angles to performing in heavy armor after running, all in an effort to test their response.
Chadwick said it’s meant to ingrain the proper reaction to keep them as safe as possible.
“Having that experience to fall back on, if and when they are unfortunately involved in a life and death situation, is invaluable.”
The FBI hosts the class in South Carolina around three times a year and it’s open to any and all law enforcement interested.