Local law enforcement debut driver training course

By: Amy Lipman Email
By: Amy Lipman Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) --- Local law enforcers of the future now have a new place to practice their skills behind the wheel.

"You go out here and actually try to perform the same techniques you see in some video game, it doesn't work out that way in life because other things get in the way too," said Robert Fisher, a Grand Junction Police officer and police academy driving instructor.

It is the only facility of its kind between Denver and Salt Lake City. The track can be used for obstacle courses, mock high-speed chases and to practice the kind of multi-tasking that driving as a law enforcer demands.

"The goal of that one is to understand the dynamics of the vehicle so you keep steering through the lane," Fisher said. "Say someone darts out in front of the car when you're going fast so you can learn to avoid the person, go around the person."

Students at the police academy will practice driving this course about 45 times before taking a test, which they must pass in order to proceed into the law enforcement field.

"Statistically every year we have more officers hurt and killed in car accidents than we do from shootings, so that kind of emphasizes how important driving is to us," said Don Hendricks, Mesa County Sheriff's Office captain.

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