News 11's Adonis Albright speaks with the department's training unit officer to learn more
YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - The Yuma Police Department (YPD) is using a new laser technology to help officers with firearms training. Thanks to a grant from the Caballeros de Yuma, the agency was able to purchase an $8,000 system that allows cadets and police squads to train without having to use ammunition.
“It's a good thing for our officers to get a lot more trigger time. Because that’s generally the biggest thing is, it’s cost and it’s time, and with this system we can eliminate a lot of time and a lot of cost", said Ben Olivas, the training unit officer with YPD.
The system offers several different levels of training, with both stationary and moving targets to allow for different types of scenarios. According to Olivas, who has been with the department for more than 20 years, this could go a long way in stepping up the kind of training being offered for new recruits.
“We do take the cadets that are going to go to an academy and put on a pre-academy here, so they do get exposed to this, they get exposed to the live fire downstairs. But this is something that we can now utilize with them over a longer period of time. We may go down to the range once, maybe twice before the academy just to see where their proficiencies are.”
There's also the option to use "dry fire" material, which comes with a laser that can be placed inside the barrel of an unloaded gun to give law enforcement training with their department-issued firearm. Olivas said this kind of technology is becoming more mainstream with police departments across the country.
"I think this kind of training is very good, the training system has gotten more realistic, it's a lot better training... I think it's something that a lot of people are going toward, it is an investment into the system but it pays you back without the ammo and things like that."
The Yuma Police Department is actively recruiting new officers. To learn more about the qualifications, head over to the City of Yuma's website.