Officer shooting shows importance of training safely - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Officer shooting shows importance of training safely

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Tiffany Bishop was killed during training at the state prison in Jackson Tiffany Bishop was killed during training at the state prison in Jackson

The GBI continues to investigate a training exercise in which a Probation officer was shot and killed by a south Georgia training officer.

The GBI won't release the name of the instructor who fired the fatal shot, but sources tell us it's south Georgia Probation officer Kevin Smith.

24-year-old Tiffany Bishop was shot and killed Wednesday afternoon during training at the state prison in Jackson.

Both the Dougherty County Police and the Sheriff's office stress, safety, safety, safety, even during training exercises. They say it's necessary to make the scenarios as real as possible, which is why training guns are checked again and again.  

On the range, officers are moving and firing trying to create as realistic a scenario as possible, so when they're on the streets confronted with a situation they're ready.

"We have a movement on the ranges, when we do night fire exercises we're actually running, but it's one person at a time," said DCP Chief Don Cheek.

This week a training scenario in Jackson at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classifications Prison spun out of control. The GBI tells us the instructor, who've we learned is Kevin Smith, fired a real weapon instead of a training gun shooting 24-year-old Tiffany Bishop of the Rome Probation Office.

Police say it's why they put rigid rules in place during training, especially with weapons. "They're not checked by one person they're checked by more than one person," Cheek said.

When Dougherty County Police are training, no live ammunition is allowed in weapons behind the firing line and weapons aren't loaded until they're actually on the range. Still, Sheriff Kevin Sproul says trouble can happen even with a wax type ammunition round and the proper equipment.

"We were going through that training and I happened to shoot one of our fellow deputies in the hand and split her hand wide open, but you have to have those trainings," Sproul said.

Training instructor Captain Allen Brock showed us what the red training guns look like.

"There's no hole where the firing pin would go, so it can not fire, it can not load a live loaded gun, a live loaded bullet, but it functions just like our handguns," said Brock.

As 27 jail guards graduated Friday from two weeks of detention training, Brock compared the training they received to a computer's search engine for an officer when they run into different scenarios on he job.

"Training comes in and builds a file in you mind somewhere that says well, you know this is kind of close to what I've been in so officers can respond to certain situations," Brock said.

So when an officer is confronted with the scene that happened recently on East Residence when a gang of seven opened fire on an Albany Police officer, they're prepared and know how to respond. 

The Dougherty County Sheriff's Office holds training for law enforcement in 39 counties to avoid lengthy travel. They hold four training classes a year offering more than a thousand hours of training for officers.

Officers are required to go through at least 20 hours of firearms training annually.

 

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