Oklahoma Police Departments Stand Behind Citizens Academies

Thursday, August 11th 2016, 12:54 pm
By: News 9

Citizen Police Academies are held across the country, that includes at The Village Police Department.

The goal is simple, show participants what it's like to be a officer through a series of classes. One such class turned deadly in Punta Gorda Florida Tuesday when an officer leading a "Shoot/Don't Shoot Scenario," used live rounds instead of blanks.

"They happen hundreds and hundreds of times throughout the country, mistakes were made and we're seeing the results of that," said Village Police Deputy Chief, Russ Landon.

Landon says he understands where a mistake could have been made. The guns used during non lethal training exercises are very similar to the one's officers carry everyday.

"They are identical to the firearms we carry on duty. They're real ones but they don't fire real ammunition, they fire real ammunition, they fire simulated paint marking training cartridges."

Mistakes like the one in Florida are the reason why Sgt. Randy Payne with the Edmond Police Department says no live or simulated rounds are allowed in his Citizen Police Academies. Instead they use electronic guns that send a signal to a simulation screen.

"If we do have a weapon in the classroom we make sure it is verified  safely unloaded, no live rounds in it before it I brought into the classroom and then once again checked," said Payne.

Edmond offers Citizens Academies just twice a year, seats are already full for the next class.