Armed suspect training helps prepare recruits for life-threatening situations in Southwest Florida


FORT MYERS, Fla. – Three law enforcement shootings were reported during the month of March in Southwest Florida.

On Friday, the Southwest Florida Civil Service Academy sent me on a live demo where I played the role of the officer sent to a bar fight, and the report says the people involved had weapons.

These are controlled scenarios that prepare future officers at the Southwest Florida Public Service Academy for the times when a suspect has a weapon and officers are forced to respond.

Todd Everly, senior director of the academy, explains that in these situations, officers have to make quick decisions while processing a ton of information.

“Is it a threat to them? Is it a threat to the community? Did they go through the process perfectly correctly and then, if deadly force is required, did they make the right call,” Everly said.

During the month of March, the Lee County Sheriff’s Deputy responded to two situations with armed suspects.

One occurred near the intersection of Gunnery Road and State Road 82.

The other, near Gilbert Avenue South near 7th Street SW.

According to Everly, graduates of the Southwest Florida Public Service Academy, recruits must complete a total of 770 hours of law enforcement and high liability training.

“Lee County is growing, Southwest Florida is growing. So there’s going to be more interaction with the community, unfortunately, this last one, we had a few incidents all quickly together that kind of sparked some conversations, but you know, I think these young men and women, they are ready for the challenge.

Watch the video linked to the article for an overview of the training provided at the Southwest Florida Public Service Academy.


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