AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson Professional actors, retired law-enforcement officers, retired firefighters and college students acted out some of the serious situations the deputies will face after graduation from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Academy in Whittier. The trainees came from their familiar surroundings to the North Academy campus in Valencia to test their responses. “We’re trying to hire 1,000 deputies a year and thought this would be a good thing for the college, as well as putting the Whittier recruits in a new environment to keep them on their toes,” said Sgt. Robert Lewis, North Academy coordinator. “It’s a good hiring tool for us. There’s a definite interest in law enforcement, we’re finding out.” Lewis said that the families of recruits are invited to participate to see what their loved ones face as the academy takes advantage of retirees’ years of experience. “This is what we call critical role-playing.” Recruits practiced traffic stops and responded to simulated robberies, burglaries and prowler behavior. They also responded to reports from callers about individuals said to look suspicious or just not to fit in. VALENCIA – It had all the makings of a full-blown crime spree – shouting victims, combative suspects and dozens of people who were armed and appeared dangerous. For the last three days, suspicious-looking people hung out in classrooms and halls at College of the Canyons. Some appeared hostile; others, just out of it. The climax of what appeared to be a campus crime spree came when snipers pinned down sheriff’s deputies, who had to think quickly to protect their colleagues and restore public safety. Fortunately, the “crimes” were all simulations of realities that the deputies in training may face on the job. “We’re also simulating a sniper ambush,” Lewis said before the exercise began. “The recruits will have to react and make critical decisions on how to direct personnel in to handle the situation.” Part of every academy class, role-playing scenarios give training officers the chance to see recruits in lifelike situations. They may need to weed out any without the “street smarts” to do the job. “There have been incidents, although they are few and far between, where recruits do well academically, … with their bookwork and tests, but when you give them hands-on role-playing, they can’t walk and chew gum at the same time,” Lewis said. “We separate them and guide them toward additional training and experience if they really want to do this. It has also served as an eye-opener for some people.” The simulations, which concluded Thursday, were held while College of the Canyons was conducting winter-session classes with fewer students on campus than usual. College spokesman John McElwain said that having 5,000 students on campus rather than the usual 15,000 gave the recruits a chance to work in a real situation without having to do crowd control in the process. Carol Rock, (661) 257-5252 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!