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Reno Police Department runs media, community members through force-on-force scenarios

Published: Jul. 13, 2021 at 11:03 AM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - In an effort to continue practicing its long-established “community policing”, members of the Reno Police Department’s training staff welcomed the media and various community leaders for a hands-on experience dealing with multiple situations.

“We have to make very quick decisions on the street,” said Sgt. Brian Adamson, who runs the RPD’s daily training and academy operations. “And those decisions could ultimately decide life or death.”

KOLO8 News Now’s Mike Stefansson took part in the three-hour training, which began in a classroom with a detailed presentation on the department’s tactics. Among the other participants were local church leaders and a staff member from Attorney General Aaron Ford’s office.

“It exposes you to those critical incidents where your adrenaline’s flowing,” said Lt. Wade Clark, who oversees the RPD’s training, backgrounds and internal affairs. ”We want to have sound thinking when the officers are put in those situations in real life.”

After heading outside to the vast training facility - which is shared by all local law enforcement entities - participants (who were asked to wear long pants and long sleeves) were issued standard training equipment, including a helmet, belt, groin and throat protectors and a paint-pellet gun.

The first of two scenarios involved something officers have and could encounter every day: a surprising force-on-force situation.

“You’re stopping in to get a drink on a hot day and you get ambushed,” said Sgt. Adamson. “For nothing more than you’re in a police car and you’re wearing a police uniform.”

The second situation involved multiple officers responding to a homeless person sleeping outside of a business, a scenario highlighting the importance of de-escalation tactics.

“We’ve got to be able to change and adapt to that on a regular basis,” said Lt. Clark.

In welcoming the media and others for these events, all involved with the RPD say it’s about bringing the community behind the scenes to create full transparency as they work to constantly improve, especially with increased scrutiny being placed on law enforcement nationwide.

“We’re trying to implement as many strategies as we can to keep the men and women on the police department safe,” said Sgt. Adamson. “As well as those in our community.”

To learn more about the Reno Police Department’s recruiting and training procedures, head here.

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