Deputies with the Albany County Sheriff’s Office and their vehicles will run several obstacle courses to refresh their driving and accident avoidance skills this week at Laramie Regional Airport.

Training started with basic driving skills as the deputies performed serpentine patterns through traffic cones, ran different parking maneuvers and finished the course with reverse serpentine patterns. Deputy Ed Rosier and others from the sheriff’s office went through the obstacle course several times that day.

An accident avoidance course came next. Deputies raced down the runway, entering one of three possible lane choices: left, straight or right.

Which lane they entered was unknown to them until 60 feet before they made the turn when the direction came over the radio.

“It seems like it takes forever to hear the right or left on the radio,” Rosier said. “The anticipation is killing me.”

By the time deputies reached the final course, the smell of burnt rubber filled the air over the runway. The deputies then maneuvered through a cloverleaf, or a series of figure eight driving maneuvers, to experience out how tight of a turn their vehicle can handle.

Sheriff Dave O’Malley said they decided to have more training with their vehicles based off of how much time they are being used by the deputies. Deputy Kevin Lundahl said the deputies typically spend 7-8 hours in their vehicle during shifts, which last for 10 hours.

“We use our cars every day, but we don’t do much training with them outside the academy,” O’Malley said.

Lundahl said the sheriff’s office tries to do a vehicle training every year. He said the Laramie Police Department will sometimes host joint trainings with the sheriff’s office but this week’s training just included the sheriff’s deputies.

The Laramie Regional Airport hosted the exercises with traffic cones placed throughout the runway to create the obstacle courses. Lundahl said Thursday 12 deputies had gone through the program so far and that the training was going well. Lundahl said the accident avoidance course is his favorite part of the training exercises, because the drivers often become competitive and try to see who can go the fastest without knocking the road cones over.

By the time the exercise ended, several of the deputies claimed to be going 40 mph or faster when turning into the lane.

Lundahl said the most important thing the deputies can take away from the training is knowing their strengths and weaknesses. Knowing what they could improve on and working on those aspects helps them become better drivers.

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