Deputies get 40 hours of training - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Deputies get 40 hours of training

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX)  A sheriff's deputy responds to a bar brawl.

One of the young men involved turns his anger towards him.

"A police officer always has to be ready to make a split decision," said Palm Beach County Sheriff firearms instructor Ray Ruby.

This time, the officer acts, shooting the knife-wielding suspect.

"We don't train people how to use deadly force to kill. We train deputies on how not to be injured and to prevent other civilians from dying," said Ruby.

Unlike Thursday morning, what was unfolding inside a sheriff's training center wasn't a real bar shooting.

PBSO Instructor Ray Ruby showed us a glimpse of the 40 hours of training all deputies receive every year.

A huge video screen and air guns recreate a hostile scene. Instructors run hundreds of scenarios, preparing an officer to make what could be the biggest decision of their lives.

"Why did you do what you did? Why did you not do something that either we think you should have done, or maybe someone else did do? Then they have to articulate why they made the decision that they made," said Ruby.

A decision our reporter was faced with when deputies put him through the simulation. In a matter of seconds he had to make a life threatening decision.

A delay in reacting left his partner with a gun to her head.

"The officer knows anything can go from zero to sixty quickly. He just doesn't know where, when, or what day," said Ruby.

Skills learned in instruction room are practiced over and over for one reason: there are no second chances once they're on the streets.

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