Local police speak on officer safety

Posted at 6:11 PM, Jan 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-18 18:11:56-05

As many local police departments are grappling with the loss of Danville Officer Tom Cottrell, who officials say was killed in the line of duty, they are also paying close attention to what is going on in their own city to deter any potential copy cat attacks. 

"Officer safety is at the forefront of our minds, always," said Lt. Jim Schultz of the Willoughby Police Department.

Schultz said training, technology and tips are three resources the department uses to help ensure that officers stay safe.

"In case that incident happens, that one emergency where that officer is not responding, we know exactly where they are at, and we can respond to them," said Schultz, referring to a GPS system that tracks the location of the police cruisers.

The system, monitored by dispatchers, shows the cruisers traveling in real time.

Willoughby police also use a system that gives information about a particular address before officers pull up.

"Before he [the officer] steps out of his car, he's aware that there might be a dangerous person inside this address," he added.

One address shows that the man living there has psychiatric issues, is combative with officers and has violent tendencies.

Willoughby Police also share and receive information from other departments, such as a picture of a robbery suspect who hit up a bank in Bedford on Friday.

And in the age of social media, Schultz said it's been a huge help to know what's going on in the community, good or bad.

"We utilize our own social media and twitter accounts to provide information not only for our officers but our citizens to keep them safe and help us do our job better," he said.

Willoughby Police also said their officers attend several training sessions a year that range from street survival to firearms safety. Streetsboro Police said they are vigilant about their officer training too.


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