LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - Comanche County Sheriff's deputies spent the day driving through cones at the Great Plains Coliseum as part of their defensive driving training.
The training is completed by the entire department once a year. It features several different obstacles that Comanche County Sheriff Kenny Stradley said will help better prepare his deputies to make quick decisions when they're out responding to calls.
There aren't a lot of high-speed chases here Comanche County but when there are, the training will help to improve deputies' reaction times and prepare them for adversity. On a day-to-day basis, it can help those responding to calls to be more aware of their surroundings and avoid getting in wrecks with people who may not be driving safely.
Being a sheriff's deputy can be a dangerous job, especially when they're chasing a criminal.
"I really hate pursuits because they're dangerous. You're chasing someone through town or out in the county and people don't know this is going on," said Comanche County Sheriff Kenny Stradley.
Sheriff Stradley said they try to be as safe as possible and try to avoid putting themselves in a dangerous situation.
"We try not to run fast down highways but if your calling and someone is screaming that someone is hurting them or breaking into their house we try to get there where we can help them."
Despite their best intentions, Stradley said sometimes the public can make those situations even more dangerous.
"You'll have people pull out in front of you or can't hear you coming so we have to drive defensively," Stradley said. "Even though we have a siren on and you think people should be pulling over, they've got their air conditioner or radio on and can't hear you. Then all the sudden they may slam on the brakes in front of you."
Those situations are going to happen when deputies are responding to calls, but at least with their training, they can be as prepared as possible.
"Does it always prevent an accident? No. But it can," Stradley said.
Several members of the department went through the training Thursday. They were split up into two groups so there could still be deputies ready to respond to calls while some were in training. The rest of the department will complete the training next week.