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Deputies trade paint for training exercise

Scott Seitz2 • Dec 6, 2012 at 7:46 PM

A Huron County sheriff's cruiser received minor damage at a recent training exercise held near Bellevue.

Sheriff Dane Howard said the exercise took place at the Norfolk & Southern range on Nov. 19.

"This was a training exercise for all gun-carrying deputy sheriffs here," Howard said.

During the training, deputies were required to shoot from a cruiser, shoot while exiting the cruiser and then fire their weapon from various points around the vehicle.

"During this exercise, Detective John Harris did peel some paint off the hood of a cruiser," Howard said. "He shot right across the top of the hood and peeled some paint and left a small dent.

"This was expected," the sheriff added. "That's why we used an old, rusty cruiser with 190,000 miles."

This training was recommended by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy.

"This training was extremely intense and the deputies were required to move rapidly," Howard said. "This exercise was very stressful and very realistic."

"We wanted to make this exercise as realistic as possible," Capt. Ted Patrick added.

Patrick said the training was set up as if the deputies were ambushed.

"The deputies had to fire on command and use the engine block as protection," Patrick said. "We don't want the deputies using the car door as protection. Don't take a position behind a car door."

Howard said the purpose of this training was officer safety. About total 25 deputies including jail, road and special participated.

"We're very concerned about the safety and welfare of the deputies," he added.

"This wasn't a pass-fail exercise," Howard said.

"If a deputy is on a county road and is in the middle of a gun battle, the only protection they might have is their cruiser," Patrick added.

Howard said Harris faces no discipline for the cruiser damage.

"Again, we expected this to happen," he said, adding a dent is a small price to pay for improving officer safety.

"We'll do this again," Howard said.

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