Dougherty Sheriff's Office trains on shoot-not shoot - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Dougherty Sheriff's Office trains on shoot-not shoot

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Law enforcement officers work on weapons training. Drilling how to shoot, and when not to.

The Dougherty County Sheriff's Office training department and the Albany Dougherty SWAT team worked on dynamic shooting exercises. That is how Deputies train to make sure they use the correct amount of force needed, when they have to draw their gun.

The Sheriff's Office has their deputies train with their various guns at least once a year, because some Deputies will never shoot their weapon on the job in an entire career. But that is a possibility at anytime, and officials want them ready, so they put them through as realistic a stress test as they can.

Drill Instructor yelling, "Finger off the trigger. Move, move, move. Get on it," all the while shots are being fired.

Dougherty County Sheriff's Office Training Director Captain John Osterander said "It's the only way they can stay safe and know the public safe."

Instructor yells "Load it, load it. Like your life depends on it. Get it loaded."

The Sheriff's Office Deputies go through a number of different types of drills, to get them ready in case of the worst. Not just shooting, but facing obstacles, like giving them a shotgun that is malfunctioning.

Osterander said "Ultimately it's a piece of equipment. Equipment can break. So we try to create those scenarios."

On the next range the Albany Dougherty SWAT team was also working with weapon training. They shoot as a team twice a month, because these drills could save a life.

SWAT Commander Captain Tim Hanington said "You never know when it's going to come. It's an unexpected thing. You have to be ready at any given time."

The SWAT team and Sheriff's Deputies work just as much on when not to shoot as shooting.

Drilling on use of force, and avoiding it.

Osterander said "Not just the legal ramifications, but the application of it."

nat sot These Deputies hope they never have to shoot, but if they do, they want to make sure they are ready in a life or death situation.

The SWAT team trains twice a month, and will soon be holding a similar training exercise with the Cordele/Crips County SWAT team, an organization they work with as back ups during emergency situations.

The 19 member Albany Dougherty SWAT team is made up of officers from all the law enforcement agencies, from the Dougherty School Police, to Albany State University, to the D.A. 's Office, so that trained SWAT members will be available in all agencies in case of emergency.

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