NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- It's all about timing. When it comes to life as a police officer, a second can change everything.
That's why North Little Rock police are learning new tactics to protect themselves and others in an ambush. This week, they had a first of its kind firearm training, learning to protect themselves and fight back without even exiting the vehicle.
The time it takes to get out of your car is only a few seconds, but it’s those seconds that in certain situations can mean the difference between life and death.
“There’s not a whole lot of analytical thought that happens it's mostly stimulus response," said Sgt. Larry Behnke with the North Little Rock Police Dept.
North Little Rock police undergo new ambush response training
That stimulus response has to be taught and with rising number officers killed in the line of duty across the nation, NLRPD is learning to fire weapons from the driver’s seat of their patrol unit.
“Turn on social media and you see police officers being ambushed in and around their patrol vehicles so its important we give officers some tools in understanding how to deal with that," said Behnke.
This teaches NLRPD officers if they do enter an ambush situation they can use their vehicle as a fighting tool by shooting through the windshield.
“It’s a lot of glass blowing back a lot of things you don’t expect,” said Officer Matthew Peach. “Shoot through wind shields and see realistically high stress situations, how we react to it.”
NLRPD alone have had two officer involved shootings this year. No officers were injured.
“What I hope is it kind of opens their mind and gives them another tool, it gives them peace of mind," said Behnke.