All week, law enforcement officers from four different states have been receiving 'less-lethal' instructor training in Rusk County to learn how to handle real-life situations.
Sandy Wall is a former SWAT member from the Houston Police Department, and for the last nine years, he's been holding trainings for The Safariland Group, a protective equipment provider.
"These gentlemen are going through an instructor-level program on the deployment and use of distraction devices, which SWAT teams, narcotics units, hostage rescue units use in order to regain a tactical advantage or establish a tactical advantage against an adversary," said Wall.
"They're simulating breaching the door, and then they are going through the mechanics of deploying a distraction device correctly per the manufacturers and the tactical industry standards," he said. "And do that along with communicating and working with each other as well as adhering to the safety principles."
Students like Lieutenant Bryan Pool of the Henderson Police Department learned how to use aerial signal devices and other distraction devices.
"Leaving here today, completing this class will get me that certification, that instructor certification that I need to go on and teach the officers that work under us the application of how to deploy these devices and how to properly use these devices," Pool said.
Hosting the training was a no-brainer for the Rusk County Sheriff's Department.
"This is the type of training that we would have to send officers off to get. And here we can keep them locally, we can bring funding into the community," said Rusk County Sheriff Jeff Price.
The training also provides the information many law enforcement agencies the up-to-date training they need.
"It prepares us to have some type of idea of what to expect when this happens," Pool said.
"This is an extremely important tool that saves lives, both the officers, saves hostage lives, and even the bad guys," said Wall.
Earlier this week, the officers received training in how to handle pepper spray, chemical agents like tear gas, and extended-range, blunt-trauma ammunition.
They are now trained to instruct others on how to use the devices.
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