Life or death: Lee County deputies train for worst

FORT MYERS, Fla. Knowing what to do in a dangerous situation could mean the difference between life and death.

More than 1,100 Lee County Sheriff’s Office deputies are required to go through a simulation based on real-life experiences.

“Our goal is just to give our deputies the tools — the experience to survive. To protect you. To protect me. To protect everybody else in the community,” LCSO trainer Todd Olmer said.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office put WINK News reporter Nicole Valdes through a variety of scenarios to demonstrate self-defense techniques.

Trainers like Olmer make sure the simulation is safe before deputies begin the exercise.

“We check each person. We check each round that we load in. You can’t be safe enough when you go into this,” Olmer said.

Even traffic stops can escalate into dangerous situations.

MORE: Lehigh woman arrested in officer-involved shooting

There are a number of concerns deputies have to work through and prioritize to ensure the safety of everyone involved, Olmer said.

“What we show our people is the speed of life,” he said. “The suspect could assume they’re going to be arrested, maybe they have a violent criminal history and they just choose to shoot it out.”

Photo via the Lee County Sheriff’ Office.

The simulation helps deputies train for the unexpected to help keep them alive.

“There are some people who hate us just for wearing the uniform … they just have a vendetta against us and you have to accept that face every day and be aware of it all the time,” Olmer said.

Reporter:Nicole Valdes
Writer:Katherine Viloria
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