Swansea, SC (WLTX) - When something goes wrong, our law enforcement officers are usually some of the first people on scene to help. On Saturday and Sunday, Panteao Productions and Gamut Resolutions teamed up to help them by offering a free firearms training class.
The Richland County Sheriff's Department, Calhoun County Sheriff's Department, Lexington County Sheriff's Department, Kershaw County Sheriff's Department, Horry County Sheriff's Department, City of Columbia Police Department, South Carolina Highway Patrol, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, and South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy each sent one law enforcement officer to participate in the training. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division sent two officers.
"Bottom line is, law enforcement in this country don't have enough time or money to get correct firearms training," said Robert Keller, the instructor of the training and founder of Gamut Resolutions LLC.
Keller has spent almost 20 years in the military and started Operation Blue as a way to give back to law enforcement officers.
"I'm just trying to bring my experience to these guys so that they can now bring their experience back to their departments," Keller said.
"By being able to do that, these officers are now going to be better prepared on the streets," said Fernando Coelho, who hosted the event at his Panteao Studios training facility. "If they're in a situation where they have to make a split second decision, they're going to be able to do it confidently, with accuracy and control."
"[The event is] not making these guys Rambo," Keller said, "it's letting these guys get time behind their firearms."
The officers were trained on both handguns and carbines. Trobathian Johnson from the Richland County Sheriff's Department says this type of training is crucial.
"Precision shots count for everything, especially in our line of duty," Johnson said.
Johnson says the goal is to be better prepared for anything.
"In a situation where we have to use deadly force, we want to make sure that those rounds go where they need to be," Johnson said.
"Our first line of defense are these police officers," Coelho said, "and they need the best training possible so that they can go home to their loved ones and they can protect us."
Coelho says he hopes to be able do more trainings like this in the future, and eventually take more officers from each law enforcement agency.