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Getting to the Call Safely: Tips for Law Enforcement Drivers

NCJ Number
Techbeat Dated: February 2016 Pages: 8-11
Date Published
February 2016
4 pages
This article explains why Michigan gives priority to safe driving in training officers to respond safely to emergency dispatches, provides an overview of the training, and outlines some tips for officers in driving safely.

Driving training has priority in Michigan's recruit training for law enforcement officers, because law enforcement officers are involved in three times the number of vehicle accidents per million miles compared to the general public. The majority of these accidents happen under routine driving conditions rather than during pursuits. The Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards requires driver training for officers. All recruits attending the State police training academy undergo a 1-week precision-driving course. They must pass every exercise in order to graduate from the academy. Recruits may fail an exercise, but if, after an hour of remedial training, they still cannot pass that exercise they are dismissed from the academy. The training focuses on teaching officers the basics of performance driving. One of the most important aspects of the course is to teach recruits the importance of concentrating on safe driving principles while responding to emergency calls. The training also addresses reduced visibility caused by darkness, storms in general, and fog. Defensive driving and attention to poor road conditions are also emphasized.

Date Published: February 1, 2016