MO deputies target shoot in darkness for training

CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - At any given moment, any hour of the day, an officer could be sent to a 911 call.

One local department is using the dark of night to prepare.

In rural Cape Girardeau County, long after sunset, the Cape Girardeau Sheriff's Department readies for its biannual firearm testing.

"We don't have the bright city lights and the cars going around," said Deputy Sheriff Cody Windbigler.

Windbigler knows that the old phrase "a shot in the dark" is a very real possibility.

Shooting a target from 50 yards away is tough enough. Now, image firing a gun when you can barely see a thing.

"Some of our officers may have a call way outside that they just don't have lights around," he said.

Cape Girardeau County deputies use muscle memory to load, reload and work out jammed firearms during the test.

Light from the moon and a small flashlight are their only guides.

"It is important that we train those muscles to react that way just in case we do get in to that situation we will be able to react naturally and it won't be something that we have to stop and think."

After hearing the command, each deputy must be able to hit his target a certain amount of times.

There's no "close enough."

They either pass or fail.

Windbigler believes the likelihood of these officers ever using their weapon is slim.

Nevertheless, they must be ready for the worst scenario to unfold.

"Out here I want them to be proficient with their weapon system, on the job I want them to be able to go home to their family and that's why we are here," he said.

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