Special Report: Firepower on the Front Lines


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) —  Every couple weeks we hear about another mass shooting around the country. 

As officials work to make the community safer, law enforcement is doing its part, which includes training for active shooter situations.

“We’re going to get through it,” said Norfolk Sheriff’s deputy recruit Deshawn White.

The recruits of the 60th Norfolk Sheriff’s academy have big goals.

“This is a passion for me,” added recruit Chelsea Boyd.  “I’ve always wanted to protect other people so I have to do what I can to help people.”

But it’s once they leave the classroom where they learn how to save lives.

“We are currently at Colonial Shooting Academy,” said recruit Richard Sumerlin.

The are loading up on knowledge, learning how to take down threats should they arise.

“Every day you come to work and you put on that uniform you know it is real,” White added. 

Some of the these recruits will end up protecting community events, shopping malls and schools.  They need to know how to respond in danger.

“Should that situation occur, I’m going to get as much training as I can while I’m here,” Sumerlin added.  “I want to make sure I’m prepared for that situation and do what it takes to help where I can.”

Every couple weeks we see tragedy on TV.  There are seemingly mass shootings around every corner.

“It is always in the back of your mind,” White said.  “If you choose a career like this, at some point you have to be that barrier between danger and civilians.”

It was just two weeks, when a Maryland Sheriff’s deputy working as a school resource officer took down a gunman who had already shot two students.  This is the reality for recruits.

“This is something that I want to do so I’m not scared or nervous, but I have to what I have to do to protect the people of Norfolk,” added. Chelsea Boyd.

“You have to be fully committed,” White said. “You have to be fully trained. You have to ready for what ever can happen.”

After days at the range, the recruits will move to training on real-life situations.  Officials tell 10 On Your Side that includes an active shooter scenario at the Norfolk courthouse.

The recruits are scheduled to graduate May 31.

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