Deputies train with paint-filled bullets

Published 3:30 pm Wednesday, August 18, 2010

At an abandoned house on Walnut Street, law enforcement from the Butler County Sheriff’s Department spent Wednesday practicing tactical maneuvers.

Sheriff Kenny Harden said this sort of training is essential to keeping his officers and citizens of Butler County safe.

“We can sit around and talk about what we would do as officers in certain scenarios, but it doesn’t compare to going out and actually getting a gun pulled on you,” Harden said.

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Everything is simulated, from arriving on the scene to all radio transmissions. The officers and the “criminals” are both equipped with Glock handguns that fire “simunition”. The guns fire a small orange paint projectile, which officers used to determine who got shot in each exercise.

Situations that were recreated were vehicle stops, building searches and domestic calls. Sometimes the officers would get shot at, Harden said, and sometimes they wouldn’t.

“We want to show them that any simple call, like a domestic call, could cost you your life,” Harden said.

All in all, Harden said he has been happy with his deputies’ performance.

“We had a vehicle stop simulation this morning where the officer spotted the driver pulling a gun,” Harden said. “The officer responded quickly, squeezing off five good head shots as he retreated.”

This sort of practice, Harden said, better prepares officers for when they receive these types of calls.