Police Recruits Go Through EVOC Training - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Police Recruits Go Through EVOC Training

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Recruits for local law enforcement agencies have a challenging road ahead before becoming full-fledged officers, and some of them have been at the Regional Safety Training Center this week getting some hands-on experience.

More than a dozen recruits have spent the week in classrooms learning about the field they're getting into. On Wednesday, they began practicing the Emergency Vehicle Operators Course (EVOC), which officials say is an important skill to have.

"For a regular person coming out here, they come out, and you think you're a pretty good driver," said Officer Chad Johnston with the Reno Police Department, who's also the lead instructor for EVOC. "We teach you little techniques that make you a lot better."

Experienced officers with different local agencies volunteer their time to teach these recruits.

"The hardest part is breaking your bad habits that you grew up with," said Sgt. Pat Caine with the Washoe County Sheriff's Office, and is also an instructor with EVOC.

The recruits got to chase a truck in a complicated course with twists, turns and even other vehicles coming at them.

"It's the first time they've actually been in an environment like that," Officer Johnston said. "Getting their heart rate up, and getting after the mock bad guy."

They then worked on different exercises like learning to back up properly, weaving through cones and braking. The recruits also need to perfect their skills on the perception-reaction test. There's three stoplights set up. While the recruits drive the course, an instructor quickly changes the colors on all three lights, and they have to pick the lane with the green or yellow light.

"You have to quickly make a decision on which lane is the path of least resistance," Officer Johnston said. "Which would obviously be a green lane."

The recruits also got a preview of what they'll be doing later in the week as instructors showed them the PIT maneuver. That's where an officer can bump another car and cause it to lose control and stop.

Instructors say they want to make this training as realistic as possible to prepare recruits for when they become full-fledged officers.

"It gives them those techniques that helps keep them on the road and keeps them safe," Officer Johnston said. "Hopefully, they'll avoid any type of collision with anybody else."

The recruits still have several weeks of training before they graduate from the academy. Then, they'll have extensive training out on the field with their respective agencies before they can go out on their own as officers.

Written by Adam Varahachaikol


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