Thomasville police practice gun safety -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Thomasville police practice gun safety

May 8, 2007

Thomasville-- When Thomasville police officers come to the shooting range, they're here to train. But everyone here knows the top priority.  "Safety is number one. Anytime we're out here on the range you know, we stress safety. It's extremely important," says Lt. Steve Belvin of the Thomasville Police Department, and also SWAT Commander.

"You're holding a deadly object in your hand, you need to be safe with. It's just that plain and that simple," adds Sergeant Henry Williams, the firearms instructor for the department's qualifications.

"We do it twice a year, plus we do open range every month. We go through firearms training every month with our officers," says Williams.

The state requires police departments to do qualifiers once a year.  But this department tries to go above and beyond.  "You can't train enough, absolutely. I mean, the more training you get the better you are and it becomes second nature," says Officer Ted McCarthy.

But its more than safety at the range.  If you have a gun in your home be very careful with it there.  Keep a gunlock on it at all times, especially if there are children present.

Sgt. Williams says it's important to always keep your gun holstered in a crowded environment. When cleaning your gun you have to be especially careful.  "You get into a safe environment. You always check your weapon's safe. Then you check it again. Then you check it again. Always. Keep checking it," says Williams.

No matter how confident you are with a gun, there's one rule you never break.  "You always treat a gun as if it was loaded. Always," Willams says.  A life could depend on it.  

If you don't have a lock for your gun, many police stations have them available to the public for free.




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