True Blue: Driven - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

True Blue: Driven

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It's the middle of summer and on the Michigan State Police drive track, a sprinkler will turn this surface into a highway in the dead of winter. The skid pad is blacktop without any grit.

"Putting that water down and having the slick tires on the rear of the vehicle is like driving on ice," said MSP Trooper Anthony Easlick.

Couple that with patrol cars outfitted with locking rear brakes...

"If you get into it too late before you've even lost control you know you can't come back from it."

 

The driving trainers ride shotgun as the recruits learn to control the uncontrollable. In bad weather, spin-outs or hydroplaning can mean the difference between catching the bad guys or landing in a ditch. So recruits are taught for hours in the classroom and on the road how to avoid danger and how to keep cool behind the wheel

"It's just actually doing it, figuring out where your groove is. Once you get into it, kinda pick up on it quick," said Easlick.

 So much of a trooper's day is spent in their patrol car, so it follows much of their training is devoted to learn how to drive.

"The majority of most recent troopers who have died in the line of duty have been through motor vehicle accidents so it's very important."

After weeks of practice, their final test will be timed. It will combine all of the skills the recruits have learned on the skid pad, the road course and cones. By the time it's done, these recruits will have proven themselves to be steady hands behind the wheel. Ready for whatever.

 

Tomorrow: State troopers may find themselves directly in the line of fire at any time, so they need to know how to defend themselves with weapons. On Friday, you'll see how they're trained to hit the target.

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