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Advanced firearms and hand-to-hand combat training for female officers
ESCAMBIA COUNTY -- Female law enforcement officers can face unique challenges in their line of work.
About 20 officers from across the gulf coast went through three days of advanced firearms and hand-to-hand combat training this week.
Why it helps the officers to have women-only training camps like this one.
Learning how to aim and shoot while moving it's just one of the skills officers work on here at the Escambia County Sheriff's office firing range.
Deputy Karen Bray, Escambia County Sheriff's Office: "It's a really comfortable learning environment, having female instructors."
Karen Bray has been a sheriff's deputy for more than six years.
She and other law enforcement officers say the training they receive here is invaluable.
Deputy Karen Bray, Escambia County Sheriff's Office: "I have attended this class before and each time that I take it I walk away with something new."
Sgt. Emily Melton, Panama City Beach Police: "This class is absolutely wonderful. I couldn't ask for a better class."
The training is sponsored by Columbia Southern University and the participating law enforcement agencies.
The instructors, Dorcia Meador and Amy Foster have a total of more than 50 years of law enforcement experience between them.
Dorcia Meador, Instructor: "We may see things just a little bit different than maybe a guy might do. We give the women a little bit more detail on explaining things."
Amy Foster, Instructor: "I'm built like they are. I'm not six foot two and 200 pounds and have a lot of upper-body strength. I teach us how to use where we are strong, how to get things low to where our center of gravity is and use our hips and our legs where we're really strong."
Instructors say they want officers to leave here feeling like they've been in a fight so if they have to deal with a conflict while on duty, they'll be ready.