RICHLAND, Wash. -- Officers put their driving skills to the test on their mile-long obstacle course, designed to challenge and teach them for a real call.
It trains officers to control their speed and maneuver sharply in and out of turns.
“The movements simulate moving and backing from driveways or alleys. Sometimes you'll have structures that are simulated with the cones and so you want to teach the officers how to position their vehicles to approach different technical challenges in a safe and efficient manner as possible," said Capt. Mike Cobb of the Richland Police Department.
Officers also practiced stopping quickly and backing up.
"One of the things you have to learn is the dimension of your car. Where is the right front bumper and how close can you get to something before you run into?” added Cobb.
Cobb said they're switching now to big SUVS instead of their little Sedans- another reason for officers to get comfortable.
The main reason though is to train our officers to be the best they can on the roads so they can keep you safe.
“If our officers are in a collision or crash on their way to help someone, then the help never arrives. We have to make sure that they're operating their vehicles in the safest fashion possible and literally lives can hang in the balance," said Cobb.
Officers train on this obstacle course at least twice a year and every one goes through it from police chief to new hire.