Edmonson Voice Staff
Traffic stops are the most common incidents that police officers work while on the job. Although our local officers rarely engage in a dangerous threat here at home while stopping a vehicle, they still have to be ready for those situations. The Edmonson County Sheriff's Office, Brownsville Police, and the U.S. Park Service worked together through hot and muggy conditions yesterday as they completed a Traffic Stop Threat Response course, held in the rear parking lot of ECMS.
"There is a significant number of officers killed by gunfire every year, and of those, it's not uncommon for a large number of those to be from what should be routine traffic stops," said Sheriff Shane Doyle. "You can get kind of in a rut when you handle all these traffic stops where they're all pretty much the same, so we wanted to go through this training so than we can be better prepared for any situation that arises."
Doyle said the officers went through a number of scenarios, some for one officer and some involving two. He said some of the real-situation stops were simple where nothing happened, while others had a subject immediately "open fire" on the officer. The U.S. Park Service provided realistic feel air-soft guns for use during the drills. This required all the officers to wear protective gear during the seminar. "The 'bad guys' had these guns as well as the 'good guys', and we were shooting at each other," Doyle said. "They may be plastic BB's, but you feel them when they hit."
The course and scenarios were led by Deputy Wally Ritter and Officer Nathan Dennis. Also participating were Fish and Wildlife Officer Steve Nelson, District 2 Constable Tim Skees, and Probation and Parole Officer Josh Watt. There were also two that volunteered to be the "bad guys," Ethan Decker and Clay Deweese.
"We all want to thank ECMS Principal Brandon Prunty for letting us use the school's facilities during the exercise," Doyle said. "The key to this was multiple agencies coming together once again. We all have to work together in a county of our size, and it was a very positive training. Also thanks to Deputy Ritter and Officer Dennis for a job well done. This was just another way to be better prepared to serve the folks of Edmonson County."