MADISON, Conn. (WTNH)– Lawmakers and candidates for office got a hands on look at ‘use of force’ training Friday at the Madison Police Department.
“You gonna arrest me?” yelled what appeared to be an unstable man confronting a Madison police officer who has to make split second decisions.
“Take your hand off the gun,” demanded the man armed with a knife. He was then tased by the officer.
That was the scenario which was demonstrated behind the Madison Police Department.
The man who was tased is actually a training officer for the Madison PD and the officer is one of the policy and lawmakers invited to the department to experience what officers potentially face everyday.
“It’s a nerve wracking experience,” said Joe LaPorta, who is a candidate for state Senate. He participated in one of the training sessions.
The department also had use of a Blue Line Corporation trailer which provides target practice in a night time scenario. It’s dark in there and there’s also flashing lights and sirens at times.
There’s also other scenarios using a video screen in which they say the most important thing about that training is to know when to shoot and when not to shoot.
The lawmakers were given the chance to see what it’s like to be faced with a potentially dangerous situation.
In some scenarios no shots needed to be fired. While in others, lawmakers did pull the trigger on a real gun.
“We try to make it as realistic as possible and I believe that capturing that for the eyes of people that are sitting there structuring laws that are going to affect where we go and training… where we’re going to go in law enforcement is very paramount important,” said Madison Police Chief John “Jack” Drumm.
“Unfortunately we didn’t have enough people that believed in the common sense changes and I’m hoping down the road we can fix those,” said Rep. Themis Klarides, (R) House Minority Leader.
An insight into training where deadly force is used and when it is not.
“Once someone is handcuffed, we train how to put people into a recovery position if they’re having difficulty breathing, either sitting up or laying on their side,” said Guilford Police Chief Warren “Butch” Hyatt.
The aim is to create a better understanding of the front lines for these lawmakers.