New training center to help deputies respond to shooting incidents

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Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017
(News 12 First at Five)

RICHMOND COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – There are hours of training behind a deputy’s decision to pull the trigger.

“We do anything from mental illness, how to deal with people with mental illness, how to recognize, how to deal with elderly abuse, again de-escalation tactics that were putting in juvenile offenses and crime,” said Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree.

It’s training deputies use to prepare for high stress and active shooter situations, but it’s also a chance for people to see what those situations are like.

“It was very challenging, I volunteered to actually hold a weapon in a situation where young people and someone has been threatened,” said Augusta NAACP President Beulah Nash-Trachey.

Getting people from the community involved during a time when law enforcement’s every move is being closely watched is critical.

“That's what people don't understand, everything that the officer is going through emotionally, mentally, all those stimulants constantly changing,” said Sheriff Roundtree.

Right now, training is in full swing for Richmond County deputies.

“We’re in the middle of our PT—physical fitness qualifications. We’re in the middle of our regular firearms qualifications, and now we have the judgmental shooting and de-escalation technique simulated here so we're training year round,” said Sheriff Roundtree.

They’re even doing double the time required.

"Officers have to go through 20 hours of training each year but we offer 45 so we require double the amount that the state mandates,” said Sheriff Roundtree.