THE TRAINING BEHIND THE BADGE: PART I

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Have you ever wondered how law enforcement trains to protect us? Well, it’s more that putting on a uniform.

“Training is very important,” Deputy Jody McCrary told WVUA 23, “because you never know what you’re going to run into when you’re on patrol.”

Much of the training done by the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office is completed on 68 acres in their county at their Firearms Range and Training Facility.

“When you have a good training facility like we do, it makes you want to come here and be a part of the team, and really do all you can to make the citizens as safe as we possibly can,” Sgt. Jeremy McCracken said. “I think having a facility like this really creates an environment for the people who work here to work together.”
Although no one at the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office knows what each shift will bring, they prepare for as many scenarios as possible. Along with a fully functional school bus for rescue training, there are two jail cell replicas used for cell extraction practice. This way, deputies don’t have to interrupt day to day functions of the county jail.
“If we do have an unruly inmate, it would allow us to take that inmate get him in compliance with the minimum force necessary,” Sgt. Charles Grantham explained.
Next to the jail cells, you’ll find a full sized, furnished mobile home that serves as a realistic, mock residence for training. The trailer’s breached door allows deputies to practice forcing entry.
While live fire is not permitted in the mock mobile home residence, deputies can train with it inside the live fire shoot house. To avoid a ricochet hazard, the structure is made of sacon bullet absorbing concrete. Supervisors observe the other deputies from an elevated catwalk.
“It helps us pick up our maneuvers,” Deputy Michael Clanton said. “They sit in there and watch us make sure we use the correct maneuvers. It puts us actually in the situation of live fire if that ever occurs.”
Deputies tell us they are thankful to be able to take this realistic scenario training with them and apply it while on duty. “I’m actually proud of this place and it makes me feel better about my job and it makes me feel confident in doing my job,” Clanton added.

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