A standard traffic stop turned violent Wednesday when the driver ran from the vehicle and fired on officers.
Luckily, the officers wore full protective gear, including helmets and face masks, and the suspect's weapon only shot simunition - a simulated ammunition that sounds like a real bullet but hits similar to a paintball, leaving a colored mark.
"It's as close as you can get to live fire without having live fire," Umatilla Police Chief Darla Huxel said Wednesday. "They're getting to train in real scenarios they could face on the street."
Officers from police departments in Umatilla, Athena and Boardman, as well as the Morrow County Sheriff's Office, participated in the annual, week-long training in Umatilla and Boardman, studying everything from bomb first response to hand-to-hand combat to building searches. Both of the state's instructors from DPSST - Department of Public Safety Standards and Training - were on-hand to lead classes and evaluate participants.
"They'll be evaluated on how they get out of the vehicle, how they stop a vehicle, and if they escalate to a forceful situation, they have to justify why," Huxell said.
The training meets officers required training hours in firearms and use-of-force training, as well as other maintenance hours. Holding two local, week-long sessions - one group of officers trains for a full week and a second group trains two weeks later - keeps costs low and covers all duty shifts during the training period.
"We want to keep abreast of all the new technology and new requirements, and if we can get everybody scheduled in one week periods, it takes care of our maintenance hours, reduces overtime and travel expenses," the chief said. "Each week is the exact replica of the other so if they miss one, they can pick it up. All of Umatilla's officers will go through."