Bryant police train at Benton Services Center

By Martin Couch 

BENTON — For the past two weeks, the Bryant Police Department, under the direction of Lt. J.W. Plouch, has been going through intense, live training exercises in an old unused building at the Benton Services Center.

The training, which teaches police officers how to handle terroristic situations when weapons are involved, is required for the overall training of individual officers to prepare them for live situations during their on-duty hours.[more]

"We are doing an active shooting training for any scenario that may happen in a school, business or anything like that," Plouch said. "We've been training the guys on how to respond to the situations through simulations where the other guys are using live paint rounds and they are able to shoot at each other. The adversaries are moving and live men instead of our guys using paper targets or video screens."

The training requires the officers to think, move and act as if they were in a real situation.

"It's a decision-making process where basically they are getting their fears up when rounds are going off in here," Plouch said. "They get hit on the arms and legs and stuff like that even though they are wearing gear. It does have an element of pain that comes into this. They basically have their heart-rates up and it's a more stressful situation."

Even though live ammunition is not used in this style of simulation, the paint rounds do produce cuts and bruises that are painful.

"It's a disorientation simulation where you try to take an accurate look and evaluate and decide what you are going to do next," said participant Sgt. Jenceson Payte.

"The scenarios are realistic with innocent suspects where officers have to decide who is who when they encounter them. The situation we're trying to get across is to make sure of who they are shooting at. That's part of the purpose of this. They have to look and decide, orient themselves and understand what's what. They just don't come in and shoot everyone. And it hurts when you get hit with one of those paint rounds."

Plouch said that the Police Department will have more similar training sessions as the year progresses to acclimate new officers.

All photos by Kevin Nagle 

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