Aug 6, 2015 12:00 AM
MANCHESTER - The job of a police officer is dangerous.
On any given day, they can lose their life or take a life.
And, with an increase in high-profile deadly police encounters across the country, the job is becoming more challenging.
NH1 News got an exclusive, in-depth look at how New Hampshire’s largest police force is training.
24-year-old William Regan is The Recruit - and we got a front row seat.
Regan is living out his childhood dream - he’s a police officer in training.
“I watched CHiPs,” Regan said. “I know that’s way - maybe a little - before my time but it’s a show about people doing the right thing at the right point in time.”
It’s only week five of training, but this recruit already understands some of the biggest challenges he will face the day he puts on the uniform.
“Law enforcement is under high scrutiny," he said. "Somethings are horrible, tragic events that shouldn’t happen. We want to be that fixture - you don’t have to be afraid to reach out to us, to call when you need help.”
With what seems like a regular stream of deadly - or just plain shocking - caught on camera videos of police encounters from around the country going viral, Manchester Chief Nick Willard admits, today’s young recruits have to be exceptionally well-trained in protecting and serving.
“I say to recruits our job is to take criminals off the street," Willard said. "If we take criminals off the street, people will feel safer, people will feel more secure."
The key - treating everyone with respect. It’s the core of community policing.
“Somebody’s a witness or a victim, somebody’s a suspect, or eventually a defendant, it’s important to me that people are always treated with a sense of dignity and fairness," he said.
“To be part of this organization," Regan said, "is to be a part of Manchester."
It’s just one lesson recruits learn in their training, which lasts close to a year.
It starts in the Manchester Police Department's in-house training center and includes lifesaving, defensive tactics - like handcuffing, pursuit and evasive driving - firing pistols and rifles, and perhaps most importantly ... when not to.
“It’s accountability," Regan said. "It’s no longer just being accountable for you, yourself, but everything you do has a chain reaction where you could change the course of someone’s life."
He knows the stakes are high, but he’s confident he will help drive positive change.
“You’re a public servant, you serve the community and there’s no real good excuse for a bad day.”
We're continuing to follow Regan through his training, so you can get a clear picture of how Manchester Police Department officers are trained.
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