Earning the badge: A behind the scenes look at how recruits train
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
Reporter: Marcelino Benito
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The Pima County Sheriff's Department's newest crop of talent testing to see if they have what it takes to patrol the streets.
"It's a lot going on," said recruit Lynsey Cole. "Your adrenaline's pumping."
The training they do out at the Sheriff's Department Basic Law Enforcement Training Academy preps them for the dangers they may face when they're out on patrol, but only the best and brightest earn the badge.
"It's a huge responsibility," said recruit Robert Hansen. "And that's why we're out here practicing."
For the next two weeks, this class of recruits will grow closer.
"I'm seeing these people more than my family right now," said Hansen.
"You might have to take a bullet for them, and you have to be willing to, that's family," said Cole.
They learn to shoot together. Thursday the training focused on high powered AR-15 rifles all aimed at the same targets. They train to shoot under pressure and with deadly accuracy.
"How would you describe the stress level?" asked 9OYS reporter Marcelino Benito. "The stress is definitely there," replied recruit Daniel Hancock.
On the road, things move even faster. They train on a tricky course weaving in and out of cones.
"Everything is different when you're in pursuit," said Cole.
The lights flash, the sirens blare. All the while instructors expect their recruits to keep their cool and remember to breathe.
"Are you nervous at all?" asked Benito. "Of course, these are situations I've never been in."
There are 27 recruits in this current class. If they all qualify, most of them will join the Pima County Sheriff's Department. Two will head to Oro Valley Police.
The Academy training lasts 20 weeks. That's followed up with 4 weeks of advanced basics training. Recruits wrap up with 12 weeks of field training. All in all, it's about 36 weeks of hard work before they're prepared to hit the streets.