Albany police chief focused on keeping his team aware and alert - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Albany police chief focused on keeping his team aware and alert

Albany Police Chief Michael Persley does what he can to make sure his team is prepared for the worst. (Source: WALB) Albany Police Chief Michael Persley does what he can to make sure his team is prepared for the worst. (Source: WALB)
Albany's police officers are always on high alert when it comes to their personal safety. (Source: WALB) Albany's police officers are always on high alert when it comes to their personal safety. (Source: WALB)
Albany's Police Chief Michael Persley (Source: WALB) Albany's Police Chief Michael Persley (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Albany's police chief said that running mental game-plans is one way his officers prepare for the dangers that come with the job.

In less than a week, six Georgia police officers have been shot in the line of duty.   

On Wednesday, one of those officers, Georgia Southwestern State University's Jody Smith was buried.

Albany's Police Chief Michael Persley said that he has daily communications with his officers on safety and operations in addition to the frequent training they receive.

Persley said some of the most effective lessons for his officers actually come from the tragedies.

Albany's police officers are always on high alert when it comes to their personal safety. 

"Public perception is that it happens in the larger cities," explained Persley. "But, if you do your research, it happens just about every day in your smaller cities."

And in the last six days in Georgia, all six officers shot have worked in communities with under 20,000 people.

"Danger is around every corner. We don't want to be paranoid, but we want to be situationally aware," said Persley.

Chief Persley knows that you can't mentally rehearse for every possible scenario, and his team often turns to real life situations that have happened in the field for information.

"My shift commanders and my sergeants do a great job of finding video footage of incidents and going over incidents that have happened, and showing officers, 'Okay, if you were in this situation, what would you do?'" explained Persley.

And it's the answer to the 'What would you do?' question that might save a cop's life in the field.

"You have to play those over and over in your mind so that you can be aware because you never know when the next crisis will occur," said Persley. "It's a part of our life as officers so we have to make sure it's communicated in various forms."

Communication is big with the chief, he said he and his assistant chief do safety spot checks, and he has some kind of daily communication with the team about safety.

Persley said that he is focused on keeping morale up on the force.

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