Great Bend police start new law enforcement training program

Law enforcement officers in Great Bend receive training from a national organization. (Photo: KSN/Amanda Aguilar)
Law enforcement officers in Great Bend receive training from a national organization. (Photo: KSN/Amanda Aguilar)

GREAT BEND, Kan. (KSNW) –  More than a dozen law enforcement officers from Great Bend, and nearby communities, were at the Great Bend Event Center, working on a program called “Blue Courage.”

They’re the first group in the state to start the program, which focuses on helping officers help their community.

“Most of got into law enforcement because we wanted to be the good guy…maybe the hero,” said Great Bend Sgt. Gary Davis.

Davis is one of two instructors at the “Blue Courage” training. His focus is to remind officers why they chose to be in law enforcement in the first place. He said it actually helps their commitment to serve the public.

“If I’ve got an officer that’s burned out, they don’t respect people, they don’t talk to them nicely, they don’t use compassion, and they just don’t present themselves in the right way. They’re just not doing a good job out here at all,” Davis said.

Officers are almost always dealing with people during some of their  worst moments.

Great Bend’s police chief, Cliff Couch, hopes the training reminds his officers that how they respond to those situations has a profound effect on that person and the community’s view of the police department.

“When an officer goes to a call, they’re not just dealing with a case number or a name on a report, they’re dealing with a real human being who has family, feelings and everything else that we all deal with,” said Couch.

“Blue Courage”  teaches officers to change their mindset and take care of themselves — physically, mentally and spiritually. In the end, their job is to develop trust and grow the relationship with the community.

“We don’t deal with a lot of things that other communities do, but at the end of the day, if something did happen, we’re going to be there for every single person here,” said Great Bend officer Heather McLemore.

The training continues tomorrow with assistance from the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Academy.

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