Cape Girardeau PD prepares for real-life situations

Cape Girardeau police utilizing new firearm training

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Just last month, Kentucky State Trooper Cameron Ponder was sitting in the driver seat of his cruiser when his killer opened fire.

With the safety of their officers in mind, Cape Girardeau police decided to do some specific training.

Cape Girardeau officers say they're doing away with standard firearm training, where officers stand in front of static target and shoot. Instead, they're incorporating real-life scenarios to prepare for real-life events.

"The world is changing and we have to change with that world," said Officer Richard McCall.

Reality based training for Cape Girardeau Police means, "they are going to be moving and shooting. Also, they are going to be shooting through glass, which is a possibility if they were ambushed while inside their vehicle," he said.

Officer McCall said practicing inside a mock vehicle prepares officers for very real situations.

Before today, McCall said the majority of Cape Girardeau's officers had never practiced shooting from inside a squad car, a scary thought considering that's where most officers spend their time while on duty.

Officers practiced shooting past each other in case there was ever a passenger in the squad car with them. Also, car doors, which they would use to shield themselves from another shooter.

"Just because you have a windshield or a car that is a barrier, it is a barrier that we can overcome in defense of our lives or someone else," he said.

Officer McCall said having this type of training is important but the goal is to never have to use their weapons.

"We have that firearm on our hip for our defense and for the defense of the citizens around us. Some officers will go through their whole career without ever having to remove their firearm from the holster while on duty. That is our goal, I don't want to ever have to pull my firearm out," he said.

The father Trooper Ponder is urging Kentucky lawmakers to help improve safety for law enforcement by installing bullet proof windshields in all of the cruisers. Lawmakers hope to have something ready by the next session in January.

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