CSU Officials: "Our police really are trained as well as anyone in the country"
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -
It's been three days since 20-year-old Zikarious Flint was shot and killed on Columbus State University's main campus by a campus police officer.
Some have asked how campus officers are allowed to carry weapons.
News Leader 9's Brittany Dionne met with campus officials Wednesday April 2 for an exclusive view inside the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Columbus.
Campus officials say without a doubt having armed security on campus makes CSU safer.
"During that course they go through approximately 15 written examinations for cognitive ability. We also put them through 32 performance evaluation," said academy manager Billy Mixon.
Officers go through 408 hours of basic training and 20 plus hours of refresher courses throughout the year.
CSU officials say all 25 of their sworn campus officers have completed the rigorous training program at GPSTC.
"A lot of our officers are former military, former CPD. We are mandated to have the same training as any other officer in the state. They go through the same police academy as Columbus police department or the muscogee county sheriff's office," said Lieutenant Jeremy Reddish, CSU Director of Training.
On Sunday afternoon, decorated former Columbus police department police officer and current csu police officer 43 year-old sgt. Ben Scott fired the fatal shots at flint, hitting him twice in the back.
Officials say all campus officers are required to keep up their education and training. Just a week ago they were at gpstc working on firearm refresher training courses.
"Twenty hours of training per year. Of those 20 hours they have to have use of deadly force training and firearm re qualifications," Reddish explained.
Mixon said officers must be able to explain why they discharged their weapons in any situation.
"The court ruling that says the officer needs to be able to explain what you did. Tell us your perspective, what threat did you perceive if you perceived any," Mixon said.
"This is as realistic as we can get the training. We want to put those officers in those scenario where they are faced with these decisions," Reddish added. "That's why this type of training is critical. It presents them with these situations so that they can go through it in a training environment before they're exposed to it in a real life situation."
According to campus officials, five days before the shooting Sgt. Scott passed three judgmental pistol shooting scenarios in a simulator exercise at the academy.