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Becoming the Badge: Behind the Wheel

Recruits are in the driver’s seat this week as they learn to navigate through the streets when the stakes are the highest.

Recruits are in the driver’s seat this week as they learn to navigate through the streets when the stakes are the highest.

From traffic control to pursuits and running call to call to call, officers spend almost their entire day in their patrol unit.

This week, recruits are spending their entire week with one. They’re learning precision driving while dealing with the stressors officers face while responding to calls.

They're getting a crash course in how not to crash theirs.

The Emergency Vehicle Operator Course, known as EVOC, involves 40 hours of training.

“You're not going to use your taser every day, your handgun every day, you won’t use your baton every day, you might not use your handcuffs every day, but you will use the vehicle every day,” said lead driving instructor Alex Porras.

It’s a challenging week for the recruits as they soon discover, it’s not as easy as it looks.

The driving component is so essential to an officer’s daily function that the course is pass or fail.

Recruits must score an 80 average on their written exam and two-time driving course, or risk dismissal from the academy.

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