WATCH: Rapid City police put NewsCenter1 through high-stress, scenario training
RAPID CITY, S.D. — Lights, sirens, and law enforcement training continued Monday for another week at the Central States Fairgrounds. This training puts Rapid City officers and Pennington County deputies through high stress and intensity situations they may face in the field.
NewsCenter1’s Megan Murat went through the paces to get an idea of what it’s like.
Here’s the first scenario:
“You’re an officer patrolling the fairgrounds during an event,” said Sgt. Andrew Kimbell, an officer with the Rapid City Police Department. “You see a subject who is involved in a homicide the night prior…..We are 100 percent certain that is the suspect. The homicide was done with a firearm, which we did not locate. So you knew the suspects to be armed or were reasonably certain the suspect would be armed and then it was your job to deal with and detain the suspect.”
I did okay, but I wasn’t prepared for the personal nature of looking a person in the eye, someone who was threatening me, and shooting.
“When I was talking to you during your scenario, when you had that initial flinch reaction and we were talking about you just have to be ready to pull the trigger sometimes and you’re putting yourself in danger by standing there with a gun pointed at you,” said Sgt. Kimbell.
The next scenario was a traffic stop. Sgt. Nick Davis drove me through the course. He says most stops are uneventful but on occasion, they’re not.
“So what you saw today was it was a lot of that which was at the end of at the end of a pursuit, someone came out and was was trying to take your life,” said Sgt. Davis. “And how quickly it evolved and how rapidly things happen.”
You have to have quick reactions. In my mind I was asking,” Do I run? Do I shoot? Is that a gun?”
Turns out, in the last scenario, it was not a gun. But I thought it was.
“I mean, think about it. The eyes can see everything. The brain just can’t catch it,” said Sgt. Davis. “And so as officers, we try to teach them how to recognize a threat as quickly as they can. And stuff happens really fast. So I think you saw that, right? I mean, you saw how quickly everything went down.”
The officers we meet on the street, they’ve gone through 38 weeks of training and more. I just condensed that training down to a few hours.
“So the reason the reason we put you through this is to kind of give the general public an idea of what how quickly things go from being a normal, everyday day at the office to really, really bad,” said Davis. “You just can’t take away is how quickly this evolves and that our officers have to make decisions very, very rapidly.”