Intense training keeps citizens safe - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Intense training keeps citizens safe

November 18, 2003

Albany-- Dougherty County Sheriff's Deputies have to qualify with their firearm every year. But to make sure they are ready for any emergency, the deputies hit the training range every three months.

Deputy Luther Lane walks the firing line. Among the tires and pipes, pictures of bad guys that swing out. Score is being kept, how many times he fires, and how many hits are made.

Behind the tires, metal cutouts, that quickly tell if you are on target. It may be just practice, but the Deputies take it seriously. Lane said, "Sweat in my eyes. It gets your adrenaline going. It prepares you for whatever situation comes up."

Most of the deputies say they have never fired their weapon in the line of duty, but this kind of training makes them know they would be ready if needed.

Captain John Ostrander said, "We spend a lot of time training for an eventuality that we hope never happens. But if it does happen, there is no replacement for good training."

At the end of the range, a white target in front of a red. That's Little Johnny, shielding the bad guy. It makes the deputies remember the importance, if they ever have to draw their weapon.

"Every single Deputy out here will tell you when they leave the range they feel more confident than when they got here," Ostrander said.

Close to ten thousand rounds of ammunition will be shot at the Sheriff's training range a month. But that is a cheap price if it saves one life.

posted at 4:10PM by dave.miller@walb.com