Traverse City Police Training Focuses on Intentional Decision Making

Wednesday morning Traverse City Police completed their annual training that will help them make life and death decisions in extremely difficult situations.

“This is a skill you hope you never have to use but you always have to be ready.”

Once a year, Traverse City Police hold live firearm training to address two difficult situations, low light and split second decisions.

Sergeant Kevin Dunklow is a student during the firearm training.

He says, “Because it is a condition you may encounter especially our night officers that spend the majority, if not all of their shift this time of year in the dark. It’s important that they are up to speed and proficient with shooting in the dark or dim light.”

But this training isn’t just about shooting.

Firearm instructor, Officer Paul Ellul says, “There is a classroom portion of our mandatory training and I think that helps the officers have conversations, have questions that they may have about certain things that are going on in the public right now, certain policies that we have."

The goal behind the classroom portion — mental rehearsal, before shots fire.

Sgt. Dunklow says, “It’s important to get your mind going and be prepared to make those split second decisions. One of the quotes that we use is the body can’t go where the mind has never been.”

Officers say the training reminds them how impactful one decision can be.

“Where other people can spend days, weeks, months, years questioning what you did but that’s part of being a law enforcement officer you have to be willing to take the responsibility to make those split second life threatening decisions,” says Sgt. Dunklow.