Tactical Officers Survival School Hits Region 8

April 14, 2004 -- Posted at 4:21 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO -- Every day law enforcement put their lives at risk protecting citizens. But at a special school at the Craighead County Sheriff's Office, officers from all over Arkansas learned street survival skills.

"If you don't train today, it's a wasted day, and training is the most important thing we do....because if your not in a gunfight today your just one day closer, right?" said Officer Jon Redman

Officer Redman was just one of about 30 men from around the state who were on the firing line today. They were gathered for tactical officers survival school...training to teach them how to stay alive.

"It's very important to learn how to survive...the top priority on everyone and the police officer is going home at night, and that's our main objective," said Range Master Marty Boyd.

"Our officers, they are our last line of defense in keeping our community safe, and as such, you know, we put a lot of pressure on them to preform in these situations and tragically year after year we loose about 100 officers nationwide," said Instructor Tom Long.

Arkansas is one of the leading states in officer deaths, so tactical training is just one way to better prepare law enforcement for survival. Surviving out in the field means keeping on your toes and being able to react properly in a hostile situation.

"It's going to be real intensive and that's what we need. You know we need to be able to shoot effectively in every type of combat situation," said Redman.

"What we are trying to get them to do is think about their defensive strategies. If someone is shooting at them, they are going to react during that time, not only maintaining their accuracy and their ability to hit at what they aim at, and also be a smart target when somebody is trying to shoot at them," said Long as he loaded his 9MM Glock.

Instructor Tom Long is a sure shot. He's taught skills to the Navy Seals, Delta Force and all branches of the special forces...but he say's the law enforcement in Northeast Arkansas can hold their own.

"The residents should be very proud because, I'm telling you, I travel all over the country and this area does not take a backseat to anyone in the United States in training, not at all," said Long.

And it's that training that hits the mark every time. O

fficers will also learn survival tactics for night time and will have to shoot a target while sitting inside a vehicle, firing through the vehicle's glass. The school will continue until Friday.