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LPD receives grant money to pay for training simulator

The LaGrange Police Department is set to receive a $62,500 grant from the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council on June 1.

The grant money will be used to purchase a training simulator that will assist with putting officers in realistic scenarios for decision-making training, Lt. Eric Lohr said.

Gov. Brian Kemp and Criminal Justice Coordinating Council Executive Director Jay Neal announced last week that 63 grants totaling $6,756,389 were awarded for the Law Enforcement Training Grant Program.

The grant money will be distributed to police departments throughout the state.

The Pine Mountain Police Department was also a recipient of $13,695. Local departments such as Hogansville and West Point were not recipients, according to the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council grant award list.

The LPD has taken a variety of approaches to train officers and to make sure that various forms of training are available to them, Lohr said.

Lohr himself was at a master instructor class for Bolawrap training Wednesday in Alabama.

“It’s not only important that our officers have training but that the agencies that we work with have the training available to them as well,” he said.

While scenario training may not necessarily change in the attitudes of those involved, it improves the quality of training, Lohr said. He added that hiring the right people is a critical component to the process.

“We have a slogan at our training center: ‘we train to do better that we now do well,’” he said. “We’re always trying to improve upon what we’re doing.”

In 2020, Kemp recommended and lawmakers approved the creation of a law enforcement training grant program through the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council for state and local law enforcement agencies, according to the press release from Kemp’s office.

“We are committed to giving law enforcement officers across the state specialized training and resources needed to provide the best possible public safety to Georgia’s citizens,” Kemp said. “This grant program will help pay for essential training — including in use of force and de-escalation — for state and local law enforcement officers and give them the tools they need to keep our communities safe.”