WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Just this month alone, five police officers have been killed in Florida..
The National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund says that's the highest number for any state this year.
West Palm Beach Police are concerned about the reasons behind the violence.
But they say training doesn't have to be ramped up to be effective.
"We want them to be focused on their jobs," said Capt. Marty Tierney.
Police in Florida have been killed at a rate of more than one per week this month. West Palm Beach Police's range master, Ofc. Glen Thurlow, is leading day three of the department's refresher course that their 285 or so officers go through every year.
Thurlow says most of the police officers shot in Florida are ambushes.
"They get the drop on us. We do all the training, they do very little training, to no training, but they have the weapon in their hand pointed right at us when we walk in the door," said Thurlow.
But he's not doing anything differently. He's not telling the officers to react quicker, raise suspicions sooner, or lower the bar for when they shoot.
"We may find a stronger stance, or a better grip, or maybe a better weapon. That's it. But the tactics don't change," said Thurlow.
Capt. Marty Tierney, a 27-year veteran, can prove it. Even though shootings of police jumped 43 percent nationwide in 2010, West Palm Beach's officers fired a grand total of one bullet in the last year.
In August, the department used an $80,000 grant to buy a simulator. Armed with laser-guided airguns, Officer Ed Thomas can throw officers into situations where they have to decide when or if to shoot.
In the simulator, sometimes officers are able to coach suspects to put their guns down.
"A saying used to be, you look for the hat. A police officer is always wearing their hats. That becomes the authoritative figure. That's the person that is supposed to be the calm during the storm," said Tierney.
You can see the statistics that the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund have compiled here .
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