State police offers new driving safety class to incoming officers

New Mexico State Police

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – State Police said on average one of their patrol cars is damaged every day, from officers getting into crashes or getting crashed into.

On Thursday, 17 new officers got their very own State Police car. But they didn’t get the keys before Fleet Operations Sergeant, Richard Williamson checked them off.

“Today’s training is to remind the officers of the things they may have learned in the academy but could’ve forgotten,” said Sgt. Williamson.

Specifically, they’re learning about basic driving safety tips. This is a new class all incoming officers now have to take.

“A lot of it is just because the nature of our work, but a lot of it we’re hoping to minimize if just making the officers a little bit more aware with this training, like to be aware of backing and other vehicles and just to be cautious,” said Sgt. Williamson.

While it’s not always their fault, on average, one of the 700 cars in State Police’s fleet is damaged every day. The cars get everything from scratches and scruffs to more serious crashes.

“A lot of them though are due to just the daily operations that we do, having them make U-turns in the median, or having to pursue suspects on rough roads,” said Sgt. Williamson.

But State Police said the dings are adding up. That’s why Sgt. Williamson hopes this class will keep everyone safer and save money.

“A lot of the smaller collisions we have are just simple backing,” said Sgt. Williamson.

After the officers get their car, they then moved to State Police’s auto shop. It’s there where they got a refresher on everything from changing tires to jump starting cars.

And while it may seem basic, Sgt. Williamson said with a job where police are always on the go, they have to be ready for anything anywhere.

Albuquerque Police Department has 1,100 police cars. They also average about one car damaged a day.

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