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      KPD citizens' academy: Special Response Team, CSI and learning how to shoot

      Heading into week six of the Kirksville Citizens TM Police Academy the department brought out their big guns, in the form of the Special Response Team.

      S.R.T was established back in 1997 with only 8 officers. Today there is a commander, a team leader, 8 Kirksville Police Officers and 5 Adair County Sheriff TMs Deputies on the squad.

      We're sitting here in Northeast Missouri and it's a long time for people to respond and help us so we need to be able to take care of ourselves and this community, said Deputy Chief Tim King.

      While I was a little hesitant to try on their gear, others took the opportunity which included shooting one of their shotguns used for less lethal bean bag rounds.

      And for some it was quite the experience.

      It was actually quite scary, said student Ashley Kimmel I've never shot a gun before, and that one was way loud and had a little kick to it, so it was a different scary."

      Week seven and eight we learned about crime scene investigation: Kirksville style.

      Detectives Jeremy Cordray and Justin Jones talked to the class about their duties, and of course showed off the different equipment they use when collecting evidence.

      The students even got dust for fingerprints and that TMs when they realized what you see on TV isn TMt what happens in real life.

      Our focus on this was not how to do an investigation, but just to understand all the steps that are involved and understand that its not like CSI and over in a 1/2 hour or an hour, said Det. Cordray. There's still a lot of follow-up that needs to be done and there's a lot of thinking outside the box."

      Before heading into week nine I had to ask my fellow classmates what they were looking forward to the most.

      I TMm looking forward to the shooting range, said student Larry Frost.

      Definitely the shooting range, said Kimmel.

      And, I couldn TMt agree more!

      Then the time came, we all met up at the Association of Professional Trainers North Range just outside of Kirksville, and got to see the equipment we would be working with: an AR- 15 and a Glock 22.

      But before we could shoot the guns, we learned about the proper and safe way to handle one.

      They need to learn the lethality of handguns and rifles and the safety aspects are paramount, said firearms instructor Dr. Burt Young. We taught them how to store the guns and maintain them and the basic principles of front-side-trigger-press.

      Then in groups of four we did our rounds, and for me the nerves started building up.

      I've actually shot a gun but it TMs been a few years and being at the shooting range my heart is kind of pounding and I TMm nervous.

      For the most part we were on target, and an experience we TMll never forget.

      Did you have an adrenaline rush? I asked Lynn Rose, my fellow classmate. Afterward yes, but while I was doing it it was almost out of body experience, said Rose.

      So with the class being half guys and half girls I had to ask: who has the better shot?

      Women are especially impressive, they have no preconceived macho ~I can shoot this gun stuff TM, said Dr. Young. They are there to learn. Men are there to strut sometimes and women can be very deadly accurate and fast too."

      To read part one of this series click here.

      To read part three of this series click here.