DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) — The Davenport Police Department has taken over Credit Island Park to offer annual emergency training for officers.
Bright orange cones are scattered on the roadways, turning the park into a driving obstacle course.
Lt. Shawn Voigts, Traffic Bureau Commander, says all officers have to go through this training each year to practice backing up, driving in a high speed chase, and more.
“By far in the way driving is the place where most officers are injured or lose their life,” said Voigts,”A lot of it, sad to say, is preventable with some trainings and good habits so that’s what we try to instill here.”
Officers climbed into a car with an instructor monitoring their every move, much like a driver’s education course. Drivers are penalized for knocking over cones, forgetting to stop, and no clearing an intersection properly.
The first lap around the course gave riders a chance to go through the motions, but the second time each officer was timed to see how fast they could get the job done.
Faster speeds match the officers driving if they are in a high speed chase, or facing an emergency. Drivers faced real life scenarios in hopes of learning the best ways to react.
“Sometimes the officers may not have been in a higher stress situation for quite a while and this sort of reminds them,” said Voigts.
Officer Robert Welch goes through this training each year and says it reminds him what decisions to make in an emergency.
“For me it’s a confidence builder just like most of the training we do,” said Welch.
The goal of the training is to prepare officers and ultimately keep everyone safe.
“The whole thing is we want the officer to go home at the end of the day safe and we want the community to be safe, and the suspect that we were trying to stop or apprehend we want them to be safe,” said Voigts.