Police offer hands-on insight to civilians about their duty

By Melanie Posey

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Their mission is to protect and serve. Wednesday, Birmingham Police gave local reporters a rare, inside look at what it actually takes to be a cop.  Officers took participants through three exercises to show how often and how quickly police must decide whether to use deadly force.

They included simulated domestic violence calls and traffic stops.  At times, reporters themselves were even shot at with paintball guns.  Officers say theirgoal is to bring a greater awareness to the threats they face every day.

"We don't take any pleasure in having to take a life. It's a part of our job," said Birmingham Police firearms instructor Sgt. Janet Rhoton.  "It's something we have to do sometimes but we do not enjoy it by any stretch of the means."

Rhoton says all officers go through similar training at least twice a year.

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