Wide range of training giving GPD edge in hostile policing culture

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The Greenville Police Department is training for a number of situations. From physical to mental and emotional training, training aids officers so they can handle anything they may encounter in the field.

“We train several times a year with a handgun in the hopes that we never have to use it throughout our entire career,” said Greenville Police Sgt. Scott Johnson. “However, we should train to use our minds every single day.”

The community is changing with evolving situations that call for fast, calculated decision-making.

“We’re not just on the firing range,” said Greenville Deputy Chief Ted Sauls. “We’re in the classroom. We’re exploring avenues all around.”

Greenville officers said the work can be challenging.

“It’s something different every day on the street,” said Alison Blackmon. “You’re going to deal with something different and you never know what’s coming.”

They are continually reminded of the negative attitude some people possess towards cops.

“We call them brothers and sisters in blue,” said Blackmon. “It is like a family. We’re like one big family. We’re just spread out all over the country. It just makes my job more important. We just continue to do what’s right and continue to protect ourselves and the community.”

GPD is working to not only respond but to be impactful. Officers are encouraged to put themselves in the other person’s shoes and consider all options.

“Let’s think about what the person may be going through,” said Sauls. “We still have to think about safety first. We can’t respond if we’re hurt of debilitated because we dropped our guard.”

These officers hope the community will think about the men and women behind the badge too. Some officers said their dedication is paying off.

“We’re community oriented and the people see that,” said Officer William V. Slaughter.

The current climate across the country has prompted many law enforcement agencies, including GPD, to send more officers to the scene to increase the safety of the entire community.

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