More local police become instructors after high-speed chase training

Updated: Aug. 2, 2023 at 5:00 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - It’s a wild ride - the police pursuit. Officers receive special training to safely chase suspects. Every maneuver is important.

“We don’t want to squeal the tires too much because that means you’re probably out of control,” said Sgt. Ben Timerman, an EVOC instructor.

Part of Fort Drum’s Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield is turned into a one-mile obstacle course. The cones represent things like pedestrians and other cars.

“So the idea is to not hit anything,” said Timerman.

Timerman is an EVOC instructor. So is Lieutenant Robert Derouin. EVOC stands for Emergency Vehicle Operators Course.

During this particular training, students from a dozen law enforcement agencies are learning to become instructors so they can teach future generations of police.

“A lot of these police departments don’t have something like this and if you’re gonna teach an EVOC instructor course, you want something as big as what we have,” said Derouin.

Officer Ashley Coffey of the Canton Police Department is now able to teach other officers what they need to know during a pursuit.

“You’re going at a high speed. You have to be observant of your location and giving that out to your dispatch so they know the speed of the vehicle, speed of your vehicle, your direction of travel, if you need additional help, if you need additional help to set up ‘Stop Sticks’ to stop the vehicle,”

What are Stop Sticks? They’re tire-deflation devices often used to safely end pursuits. Students learn how to deploy a practice one that has no barbs. In the real world, police risk their lives using them.

“Deploying Stop Sticks or tire deflation devices is one of the more dangerous things that a police officer can do because there’s a lot of opportunities there to be struck by a fleeing vehicle,” said Timerman.

Patrolman Andrew Layng of the Ogdensburg Police Department has experience with a real-world pursuit in his city. After completing this class, he’s now a certified EVOC instructor.

“It’s sharpening our skills so we can better serve our communities. There’s a lot of networking going on and iron sharpens iron as they say,” he said.

With the class and obstacle course behind them, the newly-certified EVOC instructors can now train other police how to be above board when suspects need to be chased down.