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Kansas City Regional Police Academy entrant officers begin practicing real-life scenarios

KC police academy training PIE
Posted at 4:45 PM, Mar 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-31 18:40:36-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — KSHB 41 News is giving you an exclusive look at what it takes to become a police officer in Kansas City.

Reporter Emma James has been following the Kansas City Regional Police Academy's 174th entrant officer class since their academy training began in February.

So far, we have followed the entrant officers through their physical training and firearms training.

This week, entrant officers began to put their knowledge from the classroom to the test in real life scenarios.

Officers are required to do practical integrated exercises, or P.I.E., which involve realistic simulations of police calls.

During Thursday's training, entrant officers were given two scenarios, one involved a disturbance call at a local gym and the other involved several people in an apartment loudly arguing over a lamp.

When entrant officers enter the scene, everything they do and say is closely watched by instructors.

"There's a lot of very small details I never would've realized go into being a police officer, such as keeping the suspects hands out of their pockets because they could have a weapon in there, or making sure the suspects aren't engaging with one another in a physical or violent or threatening manner," entrant officer Clayton True said.

Entrant officers will complete 64 hours of P.I.E training before graduating. The simulated calls will get more challenging as time goes on.

Captain Brian Bartch, a training unit commander, said while officers are scored on their performances, it's all meant to be a learning experience, and he expects mistakes.

"The best way you can learn is to make a mistake, be open-minded, receive positive feedback and some constructive criticism and learn from that," Bartch said.

Bartch and other instructors discussed the call after and point out things officers can do better, while commending them on what they did well.

From how they talk, to how they stand, to what questions they ask, every detail matters.

"One thing the general public may not realize is just how many components are involved when an officer enters the situation and is interacting with the public, there are so many little things that they we're looking at," Bartch said.

Bartch said the two most paramount things an officer is trained to think about is the safety of the citizens involved and the safety of themselves and their partner. This is why much of the training focuses on small details, such as how officers position themselves, and why they may ask citizens do to certain things like taking their hands of out their pockets or putting down something that could be used as a weapon.

"The number one thing at the end of the day is diffusing the situation and making sure that everyone goes home safe," entrant officer True said.