Shoot or don’t shoot?

Posted at 5:46 PM, Aug 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-12 17:46:44-04

PORTSMOUTH - As relationships between police and communities are strained across the country, the Portsmouth Police Department is taking action to try and ease some of that tension by giving an inside look at their training for life or death situations.

"You want to train how you're going to act in a real life scenario," said Field Training Officer Jeffery Barber, who adds unless someone has been in that situation, they can't say how they'll react. The simulation included knives,

The simulation included knives, guns and fighting.

"'With these force on force situations, force is ugly. If you see two people getting into a fight, it's ugly and it's violent and people know it," said Officer Barber.

It takes at least nine months to a year to train an officer to react properly in tough situations. One situation simulated was between a pregnant woman threatening an officer with a knife. Officers are also trained to fight through whatever happens.

"We don`t want them to say oh my gosh, I've just been shot and lay down and that be the end of the scenario. We want them to fight through," said Sergeant Scott Blystone. He was previously shot in the upper thigh.

Officers are hoping an inside look at their stringent training will show people it can be hard to understand what's going on in an officer's mind. Barber has simple hopes.

"I love this country and hopefully, people can start realizing that police love this country too and we`re here to help."