NewsWest 9 Special Report: Inside the Police Academy Part I

by Haley Burks
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Weapons are the name of the game during our next visits to the police academy, and take it from recruits it's an eye watering experience.

"It is painful. It really is complete compliance," Recruit Reico Patrick said.

Recruits not only have to experience first hand the painful effects of pepper spray, but also must be able function as a police officer.

"Your whole body wants to shut down, but you still have to maintain your composure and still complete your objective," he said.

A recruit's next challenge is at the shooting range.

"Many haven't ever fired a handgun,"  Range Master, Scott Casey, said.

Accuracy is only a small portion of the equation.

"We have to teach them decision making, put them in situations and they have to decide to fire or not fire. 20% mechanics, the rest all mental," Casey said.

Patrick, who previously was in the military, says the academy is shaping up to be different than expected.

"It is much more intense hands on and more difficult," he said.

Learning when to use deadly force or coping with a shot of pepper spray, just another obstacle on the course for recruits earning their badge.