Deputies take part in pursuit training

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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - The Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department has been wrapped up driver training for its deputies. The training takes place every three years and is there to sharpen their driving skills.

It’s called the Emergency Vehicle Operator’s Course also known as EVOC. Every three years the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Department comes to Key Field where they train deputies in driving.

“I set this course up and every deputy who is issued a vehicle must complete the training,”

Several skills are taught. A combination of tight turns promotes focus when the deputies take on the course.

“It makes you really concentrate on precision driving. I also have a backing course. You must back up through it and it’s pretty difficult,”

Williams says the choose Key Field because of how much space is available. He says there is more room to setup different courses.

There are several parts to the pursuit course. The deputies start heading directly into what they call the challenge course, which is full of tight turns. It can be challenging for deputies.

After the challenge course they head down a straightaway where they try to catch up to the person they call the rabbit. The rabbit is the one running from the pursuing cruise called the dog.

Deputies test the limits of their vehicles, reaching speeds over 100 miles per hour. Williams says it’s important for deputies to be comfortable and know how to handle their vehicles in a safe way.

“Out here I can make them push it until it’s out of control, so they know what it feels like. That way when they get on the road they will know what it feels like when they get close to that and able to back off,” Williams says.

The course lasts about a week. During that time roughly 10 deputies train on any of the given days.