Fayetteville police hold media day at training center
Posted January 27, 2015
New statistics out of the Fayetteville Police Department show crimes declined in 2014, compared with a year prior.
According to The Fayetteville Observer, Chief Harold Medlock presented the numbers Monday night to the City Council. Among them: violent crimes dropped 9.5 percent; property crimes dropped 12.7 percent; and the use of police force dropped 56 percent.
Law enforcement officers credit better training and community involvement for moving the department in the right direction.
A police officer's decision to shoot or not to shoot starts at police training facilities like the Fayetteville Police Training Center off Eastern Boulevard.
On Tuesday, members of the local media, including WRAL News, got a chance to participate in some of the real-life training scenarios Fayetteville police officers undergo, including firing the 9 mm handguns and rifles officers use.
Experts say the training is the first step in making sure police use deadly force only as a last resort.
Officer Bryan Bailey, who helps train other officers, says making sure they are confident with their weapons is the first step in making sure that police use deadly force as a last resort.
"Most every officer you talk to, within state law and within case law??, could have fired at people many, many times in their careers," Bailey said. "Most never do."
When an officer does decide to shoot, it is a decision that, many times, has to be made in just a split second.
"How long it takes to actually perceive a threat and then actually react to it?" said officer Charles Cochran. "Sometimes, it takes as long as 1.5 to 2 seconds before an officer can make that decision, and he's expected to do it in three-quarters of a second."
The decisions have to be made quickly. Officers have to decide whether a suspect is pulling out a gun or a cellphone. Throw in a suspect on drugs or alcohol and under the cover of darkness, and the results can end with deadly consequences.