Tweed police officers take part in a weapons training exercise.
Tweed police officers take part in a weapons training exercise.

Police equiped with crucial skills

CONFONTED by an armed and abusive offender, police officers in heavily padded suits and masks had just a split second to decide whether they should open fire.

Some chose to use their guns, others did not.

But it didn't matter if they made the wrong call, because the conditions were staged and the guns loaded with paint pellets.

This is just one way police officers are trained to deal with potentially- dangerous situations they face in the line of duty.

The Tweed Daily News was yesterday given exclusive access to the annual simunition (simulated munitions) training carried out by Tweed/ Byron police at a secret location.

Leading the sessions were weapons instructors Senior Constable Mick Warren, and Senior Constable Alan Hogg, who acted as the offender.

Officers were put in a simulated domestic violence scenario and it was up to them how they chose to respond.

“Police are put into a role-play situ-ation where they have to engage an offender who may be armed with a knife or a firearm,” Snr Const Warren said. “Everyone is different so every- one treats the scenario differently.”

Officers had to negotiate with the offender and decide whether to use their baton, capsicum spray or gun to subdue him.

“We use simunition pistols, which are the same as the ones we use but they fire a paint pellet instead of a round,” Snr Const Warren said.

“It still hurts a lot.”

He said every operational officer in the command had to complete the course. Yesterday 14 of them were put through their paces, while a number of others trained earlier this week.

At the end of each session the police were given feedback on their performances.

Snr Const Warren said next year's training would include tasers.

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