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Southern Tier police recruits learn the rules of the road

BINGHAMTON (WBNG) – Learning the rules of the road while you’re dreaming of wearing a badge.

Police academy recruits found themselves in a mobile classroom at the Binghamton Airport on Thursday learning the rules of the road on a training course.

It’s just one of the many requirements they’ll need to master if they want to earn the badge to protect and serve.

“I think this is probably one of my favorite areas of the academy so far,” said Nicholas Smith, one of the police academy recruits.

Smith is looking for a spot at the Binghamton Police Department and he knows the reason he’s now behind the wheel.

“It’s safer for us and safer for the public,” Smith said. “That way, when we are pursuing somebody that might have broken the law, were able to do it in a safe manner and make sure that whoever else is on the road isn’t in any danger.”

Lights, sirens, pursuing suspects and even evasive maneuvers. For law enforcement, it’s all in a day’s work and something new recruits need to learn.

“The recruits are learning how to drive an emergency vehicle,” said Broome County Deputy Sheriff Robert Stapleton.  “Completely different driving than driving a civilian vehicle.”

It’s a required course set up through the state with guidelines from the Department of Criminal Justice Services.

“Because we can be in particular situations where a vehicle might pull out in front of us or we just don’t have enough time to avoid something,” Stapleton told us..

And that’s exactly why they’re on a controlled course for when things on the road might get out of control.

“Deep down, it’s a little bit fun for most of us,” Smith told us. “A lot of us enjoy doing this type of stuff.”

“We need to prepare these recruits to drive appropriately and safely throughout their careers,” said.

At least a dozen police agencies are part of the academy.

They’ll be out on the course for the rest of the week.

Paul Mueller

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