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Armed suspect training helps prepare recruits for potentially deadly situations in SWFL

Southwest Florida Public Service Academy
Posted at 3:30 PM, Apr 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-02 10:22:04-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Three law enforcement shootings were reported during the month of March in Southwest Florida.

On Friday, the Southwest Florida Public Service Academy sent me into a live demonstration where I played the part of the officer being dispatched to a bar fight, and the report says those involved, had weapons.

It's controlled scenarios that prepare future officers at the Southwest Florida Public Service Academy, for times when a suspect has a weapon and officers are forced to react.

Todd Everly, the academy's Senior Director says in these situations, officers have to make quick decisions while processing a ton of information.

“Is it a threat to them? Is it a threat to the community? Did they walk through the process completely right and then if deadly force is necessary are they making the right decision,” said Everly.

During the month of March, Lee County Sheriff's Deputy responded to two situations with armed suspects.

One happened near the intersection of Gunnery Road and State Road 82.

The other, near Gilbert Avenue South near 7th Street SW.

Everly said to graduate from the Southwest Florida Public Service Academy, recruits have to complete a total of 770 hours of law enforcement and high liability training.

“Lee County is growing, Southwest Florida is growing. So there are going to be more interactions with the community, unfortunately, this last, we had a little bit of a couple of incidents all quickly together that kind of stirred up some conversations but you know, I think these young men and woman, they are ready for the challenge.

Watch the video connected to the article for a look at the training done at Southwest Florida Public Service Academy.