The Natchitoches Rotary Club held its Bulletproof the Blue event at Dark Woods April 29. This event was held in order to raise money for new bulletproof vests for Natchitoches Police Department and to promote understanding of the difficult, split second decisions that police have to make while on the job.
”What we’re doing here is getting the public to experience high stress situations that police experience,” SWAT Team member Jesse Taitano said.
The SWAT Team and divers from the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office displayed some of their equipment at the event and explained the ins and outs of their jobs to guests.
Participants went through a mini police academy training session and were equipped with a police issue glock with nonlethal simunition rounds, handcuffs and a police duty belt.
Four scenarios were set up for the participants, and each one was designed to encourage quick thinking and action. The scenarios included a fight call, a domestic violence situation, a traffic stop and an active shooter situation.
Participants were given a partner and completed each scenario with their partner. After the completion of each scenario, participants were given the opportunity to ask officers about what they experienced and about other ways in which they could have handled the situation.
”This was our first year holding this event, and it worked out pretty well,” Taitano said. ”We’re really grateful to Dark Woods for letting us host the event here.”
Because this event was so successful, the Natchitoches Rotary Club and the Natchitoches Police Department are considering hosting the event annually and are thinking of ways to make Bulletproof the Blue even better next year.