Dozens of police officers from across the state were in Ozark today to practice skills necessary to stay alive.
According to statistics, 119 officers across the country were killed in the line of duty last year. Training programs, like the one in Ozark Wednesday, aim to bring that number down.
The name of the game is winning and survival.
Cpt. Bobby Blankenship, Special Operations said, “We’re trying to get them in the mind set of that I am here to win and how to properly do things to keep them from getting injured or even killed in the line of duty.”
An all day training with real-life scenarios like a traffic-stop and domestic violence call, scenes that trigger the natural fight or flight instinct.
Brewton Police Ofc. Stan Pagonis said, “It gives the officer the opportunity to feel that so they understand it and are able to work through it.”
Something that even the most experienced officers need to practice. Blankenship said, “A lot of the veterans have gotten so complacent that they were much worse at tactics than the new ones were.”
On top of the hands on experience, officers heard lectures on how to read body language, notice unnatural behavior and control a scene with your voice. Tips necessary to stay alive.
Blankenship said, “You should respond to every situation with the same mindset that if something goes wrong what am I going to do.”
A question they can hopefully answer easier and quicker after the day of training.
Blankenship says they have been holding these training days since the 90’s and plan to have two each year. So far this year 20 officers have been killed in the line of duty across the country.