A group of 15 Alabama state troopers and two Meridian police officers have been going through some intense training at the Lauderdale County Training Facility. They are learning what it takes to be a trained sniper.
"The instructors are knowledgeable, so their knowledge has carried over to us out on the range," said Alabama state trooper Billy Fulmer.
The five day course consists of 40 to 45 hours of both classroom and field training. It's taught by the Hathcock Sniper School based in Virginia.
The main goal of the school is to bring law enforcement officers that are serving on a SWAT team up to a level that they need to be at in order to react to a life threatening situation.
"When that time comes, if you ever have to make one shot, you have to make it count," said Meridian officer Jonathan Debord.
In addition to sharpening shooting skills, the course also teaches the snipers how to conceal themselves, how to maintain their specialized equipment, and how to have patience in an active situation that might last for hours.
"We feel the instruction given is top notch," said sniper instructor Michael Mack. "The intensity of the training and the quality of the training."
"When a life is threatened, we have to know that we received the best training in the right time and manner," said Capt. Robert Goodner of the Alabama Highway Patrol.