COLQUITT CO., GA (WALB) - Deputies in Colquitt County put their shooting skills to the test this week.
Each deputy is being evaluated as a part of state-mandated training.
"This is like the test. This is the test. They can practice at least two days out of every month," said Investigator Michael Cox.
Cox has been a firearms instructor since 2010. He joined the Colquitt County Sheriff's Office last year
He encourages deputies to go through this test twice a year, which is one more than the state requires.
"They need to practice continuously to develop the muscle memory, so at any time, they're ready and willing to use it," said Cox.
Deputy Josh Perry said he's been practicing to prepare for this day. He said it's important the deputies do not get complacent.
"It is a skill. And no one is a natural born police officer. No one is a natural born shooter. So you have to train to be able to control your weapon wherever it may be and whatever case it may be," said Perry.
After each attempt, Cox scores the deputy's performance based on precision, with a goal to score 240 out of 300.
"If they don't, they'll be placed on administrative duty. I'll be giving them some remedial training, and then they'll have another attempt to obtain a qualifying score," said Cox.
Cox said this training is aimed at simulating realistic incidents to ensure the proficiency of each deputy and ultimately their safety.
"Keep their skills where they need to be so they can go home. If they're presented with a threat, God forbid any of them ever are, we want everybody to go home," said Cox.
The Colquitt County Sheriff's Office hosts citizens firearms classes on the weekends.
To find out which weekend and how to sign up, call the sheriff's office.