OK Co. Sheriff's Office Gives News 9 A Hands-On Look At Use Of Force Training
OKLAHOMA COUNTY, Oklahoma - Tuesday was the 1st Annual Media Academy hosted by the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office.
News 9’s Tiffany Liou put on a bulletproof vest and was given a gun filled with plastic bullets to see what she would do in different police scenarios.
The first simulation was based off a true story. A car sped by over 80 miles per hour. Once the officer’s car caught up, the suspect pulled over and came out screaming with his hands up. He then went back into his car, and pulled out a gun and started shooting at the officer.
In the real-life story, an officer was shot and killed when he didn’t fire his own weapon first. In our training scenario, she shot back.
“There’s no straight answer as to what you should do there,” said Deputy Sheriff Jimmy Gillespie.
In the second scenario, there was a murder warrant out for a man’s arrest. Our reporter approached him, but he was not complying. There were also people surrounding the two with cell phone cameras out. Tiffany chose not to shoot, and the acting suspect got ahold of her gun.
In the next exercise, the man was armed at a bar that did not allow weapons. He and the people around him were rowdy and yelling. The actor reached toward his gun. Tiffany chose to fire her weapon, but later found out the man was pulling out his ID, not his gun. The three scenarios showed that split-second decisions often need to be made by law enforcement.
The training then moved indoors to the Oklahoma County Jail to see a day in the life of a detention officer.
“Working here, yes, you have to always be on your toes,” said Detention Officer Brian Harrison.
He said cell checks are routine, but dangerous. Contraband can be hidden anywhere. He said inmates are also not always cooperative and it’s up to the detention officers to keep thousands of them in check.
“We’re here to protect these inmates and make sure they are safe,” said Harrison.
Some of that can mean restraints or shooting with pepper balls. In a time of high police tension, the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office is hoping to be transparent with the public.
“All of us are not bad people, you know? Most of us, we’re just here to help,” said Harrison.