Within seconds a routine call can turn deadly for police officers. It's something that hit our region hard several years ago, when Officer Christopher Nicholson, a Smithsburg police officer was killed in the line of duty. It's an issue that is growing nation wide.
"Kind of surprising actually, the number of officers injured or killed in the U.S every year," said Wade Shambaugh, with the Morgan County Sheriff's Office.
That's why the FBI is conducting an Officer Safety Awareness Training. Philip Wright of the FBI said a situation can turn deadly in an instant, and that's why training is so crucial.
"It may be things simple as maybe an officer deviating from what he's training, when that happens that creates an opportunity for an offender to critically injure or assault the officer," said Wright.
Wright says in a lot of these situations officers who are killed might have let their guards down. Often routine calls, like traffic stops, can be the most dangerous.
"Maybe a simple call that you are answering you can end up a fight for your life and just understand that be prepared I think once you are prepared, you have a chance to react better," said Wright.
Lessons that could save lives, as they work to keep the community safe.
"This program is very important for officer survival, it gives us an understanding as to what people are thinking, when these instances occur for both the officer and the perpetrator," said Kenny Lemaster, with the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office.
More than 70 officers from the four-state region are attending the training. Some of them say this just reminds them that anything can happen while they are protecting and serving the public.
The training is hosted by the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office.
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