Officers drive home skills needed to chase suspects - Ford Forums - Mustang Forum, Ford Trucks, Ford Focus and Ford Cars
Ford Crown Victoria | Mercury Marauder | Grand Marquis | P71 Forum for discussion of the Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Marauder, Mercury Grand Marquis and P71.

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 04-20-04, 07:34 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
GMACK24's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Raynham, MA United States
Age: 42
Posts: 2,065
Officers drive home skills needed to chase suspects

Columbus Telegram, NE - Apr 17, 2004

Heather Koontz, Telegram Staff Writer

Civilians getting out of police cars grinning.

It's different when they were in the driver's seat.

Students in the Citizens Police Academy had the chance to pilot a cruiser Saturday morning on a closed course at the Columbus Airport. The class of seven Police Academy students was taught by Officers Aaron Howland and Jason Romshek.

The session was a taste of the training police officers go through annually in case of high speed pursuits and it gave students first-hand experience with the level of technique officers are required to have during such times.

The three-hour session was split into three parts: driving the car, being a passenger with a trained officer at the wheel and driving with the lights and sirens on.

Phase One

Sitting behind the wheel of a Ford Crown Victoria, white hood large and looming, a sea of orange dots and asphalt spread out in front.

It's not just driving somebody else's car, it's driving a police officer's car (even if it is out of service), with lots of police officers around.

But they're saying, "Go for it," and every muscle is aching to hit the accelerator, slam on the brakes, maneuver through turns and skid around something at some point.

Those cones that are supposed to designate the lane are laid out at a width that, from the cockpit perspective, seems about a foot wider than the car. Howland said the lane was at least 12 feet wide at any given spot in the course, and the car is no wider than 8 feet.

Reversing around this cone then that one seemed to cause the most trouble. Some students were better than others. But overall, the cone casualty rate across the course was high.

Averaging speeds just above idle, we learned the course, drove back to start, and took it a few more times, gaining momentum with our confidence.

Jim Briggs was the first to go around. He got out of the car looking like a kid at Christmas.

"That's a rush. It was more fun than I thought it would be. Once you get behind the wheel, you start feeling like a policeman chasing someone," Briggs said.

"The third time, I wanted to do better with speed."

Phase Two

Having just hit top speeds of not that fast and crushing cones like they were worth top points, our turn came in the passenger seat.

Compared to the students, the officers' driving was pure precision.

Romshek looked over with a cool glance, drawled out a casual, "Hang on," and slammed on the gas, maneuvered through turns, braked without instantaneous whiplash and skidded around lots of things.

But where I was white-knuckled at 15 mph, he was doing 40, and didn't hit a cone.

"I like it better riding with them," Cindy Bower said. "It's faster. A lot faster."

After that, we had a chance to ride in either the good guy or bad guy car, in a lights-flashing, sirens-blaring chase around the course. Watching the cat-and-mouse game gave a good appreciation of the importance of the training.

"I just have way more respect for them, the way they can control these cars," Brewer said.

Phase Three

"When you drive with your lights and sirens on, it gets your blood pumping, your adrenaline going. It changes the way you drive," Romshek had said before the class started.

We had learned the course, then saw how it should be done. It was our turn.

Howland flipped the sirens on, and there was an instant signal to my brain to hit the gas. The first little jaunt to the left, the hairpin turn, it was all of a sudden my road.

I slowed down here the last time but not now, I thought through the slalom. Now, I'm making time.

"You feel like you need to go faster. It's like, 'Get 'em, get 'em, get 'em," Wanda Arp said.

Howland said that's why the officers go through the training they do.

"Even with us, our adrenaline goes up when we get involved in a pursuit. But because of our training, we're able to control those emotions that as a civilian you can't because you're not used to that. That's why we do that type of training, so when we get involved in pursuits or shootings, our training kicks in and it's not just adrenaline."

GMACK24 is offline  
Sponsored Links

  Ford Forums - Mustang Forum, Ford Trucks, Ford Focus and Ford Cars > Ford Cars and PAG Vehicles > Ford Crown Victoria | Mercury Marauder | Grand Marquis | P71

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Volvo S80 now also with all-wheel drive Stacy94PGT Volvo 1 04-07-03 10:39 PM
Sorrento meet reflections... Rmyers On the Road in Australia 34 03-28-03 05:48 AM
AAM - Drive day Oran Park May 24th XR8chic On the Road in Australia 1 05-20-02 07:34 PM
AAM - Drive day Oran Park May 24th XR8chic On the Road in Australia 1 05-20-02 07:25 PM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome