CRIDERSVILLE — Members of the Wright State University-Lake Campus Police Academy trained alongside the local K9 association in an effort to give cadets in the program more experience.
This week, the cadets have been training at Midwest Shooting Center in Cridersville.
“We use what we call blue guns or fake guns and walk through all scenarios and, today, I do believe we’re going to get to actually shoot each other,” said Austin Koeper, of New Bremen.
Wednesday night was their second of three nights of training at the shooting center.
They used Simunition, a rubber bullet type round.
“You’re gonna know if it hit you,” said Koeper.
Koeper has been part of the program at Wright State’s Lake Campus since fall. He and 14 other men and one woman are part of this year’s class.
“We’re getting close to taking our state tests and hopefully getting right into law enforcement,” said Koeper.
Cadet Ian Younts knew exactly when he wanted to become an officer.
“That has been a decision of mine I made from a very young age. I was actually at my grandmother’s house on High Street in Lima. I saw a high-speed chase go past me. I was about six or seven and I said, that’s what I want to do. That has been my career choice from that age. I joined the military as a military police officer and now I’m going through the police academy hoping to then get my criminal justice degree and now this is what I’m looking forward to doing for the next 30-40 years,” said Younts.
This is the second year the cadets have trained at Midwest Shooting Center.
“This class is called Building Searches,” said Mark Ernst, commander at the Wright State-Lake Campus Police Academy. “It’s a class required by the State of Ohio. For years we’ve struggled to find a location to do it. We’ve done it out of the university but because of logistics we were using Airsoft weapons for a while but things were getting damaged so then we had to quit doing that. This facility is awesome because it allows us to come in here and use Simunition which are real ballistic weapons which the students use. … So the training is much more realistic.”
And they even brought in police dogs to help train.
“We thought we would combine with them this year because they’re always looking for places to train as well and our cadets have not had experienced the dog yet. They haven’t been around the dogs so we thought it would be a great combined training opportunity,” Ernst said.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.