On a closed track, Davenport Police prepare to make streets safer

Published: Sep. 20, 2017 at 3:59 PM CDT
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On what is usually a quiet, Credit Island, sirens and tire screeches fill the void of geese honking and insects buzzing.

"10-60, that shots fired call," One officer says over a closed circuit radio. "I'm going to be checking the old golf course area, that gravel road."

This officer isn't actually following a shots fired suspect, but rather a training Davenport Police vehicle.

"Looks like I got him here," the officer radios again. "White Impala, looks like its occupied 3-4 times."

Two officers then follow the imitation suspect car around the island, reaching speeds of up to 60 miles per hour as they radio back to base.

"It's an acquired talent," Says Lt. Shawn Voigts who is the Traffic Bureau Commander of Davenport Police. "It isn't something that anyone can just pick up and do. You need to practice it, we do not have a lot of actual pursuits."

Along with pursuit training, officers also trained with parking and driving drills.

"You run into drills that you're not used to doing," said Officer Erik Johnson. "If you don't do them here, you're not as well prepared."

Officers say drills in a controlled environment like Credit Island help officers keep the streets safer.

"Driving is one of the most dangerous things we do and almost every officer does it," Lt. Voigts added.

"It's like a sport. If you don't practice, you're not going to be good at it," said Ofc. Johnson. "Without training we get every year, we wouldn't be as well prepared for everything on the street."