LEE CO., GA (WALB) -
Law enforcement officers , at any time, could have to make split second decision..... when to use deadly force.
Those who train officers to handle such situations says it is the toughest challenge those who carry a badge can face.
"Threat." Lee County Sheriff's Deputies train to be ready in case of danger. It's something that all law enforcement officers know they could face with little warning, and train to be prepared.
Lee County Sheriff's Office Lt. Colonel Chris Owens said "Train mentally and physically to prepare themselves for certain situations. And hope they never have to use deadly force. But if they do, they most certainly need to be prepared mentally and physically."
Georgia law says a law enforcement officer is justified to use deadly force to protect themselves or other persons. But it's too often a decision that has to be made by an officer in the blink of an eye.
Owens said "Is it reasonable and is it necessary? Then they can use deadly force. But unfortunately there is not a lot of time to make those decisions in the midst of what's going on. They have a second or a second and a half to make those decisions."
Officers now carry several non lethal tools like tasers and pepper spray, to keep from having to use their guns if possible. In Lee County deputies train at least four times a year on scenarios, to help them be prepared for many events......and know how they could handle them in the best way possible.
Owens said "Every officers' goal everyday is to go home safe at the end of their shift."
Ready to make life or death decisions in a split second. One of the toughest responsibilities that goes along with their badge.