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Officers training at Bladen County Training Center at White Lake on Thursday

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By: Erin Smith

Law enforcement officers were busy brushing up their skills on Thursday morning at the Bladen County Training Center at White Lake.

The officers went through exercises in jujitsu, stress box training, and vehicle stops.

During the jujitsu training the officers were refreshing their skills at how to get themselves safely out of certain situations such as if they find themselves wrestling with a suspect on the ground. Instructor Andrew Pait took the officers through the exercise explaining how to free themselves if they are “pinned down.”

The next exercise was the stress box. Instructor Gary Turlington said the purpose of the stress box is to “immerse the officer in tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving situations.”  The idea is to help the officers to be better prepared and be inoculated to the effects of stress, danger and hostile circumstances, said Turlington.

The exercises of the stress box are designed to simulate potential situations officers may encounter while on the job.

The final set of exercises had the officers training for various situations they may encounter during a vehicle stop. “So many officers are being ambushed during vehicle stops,” said Turlington.

The officers trained using different scenarios for a vehicle stop.  During any vehicle stop an officer does not necessarily know the identity of the occupants nor whether or not they may have any outstanding warrants when approaching the car. The officers learned ways they can better protect themselves during vehicle stops.

Thirteen officers participated in Thursday morning’s session. The training sessions will continue over the next two weeks. Officers involved in the training sessions included Bladen County Sheriff’s Office, Elizabethtown Police Department, Bladenboro Police Department, White Lake Police Department, Wildlife Resources Officers, and officers from Cumberland County.