A day in the life of a San Diego police officer - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

A day in the life of a San Diego police officer

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Have you ever wondered about the type of training it takes to earn a badge and become a San Diego police officer?

Saturday, CBS News 8's Shannon Handy was put to the test. She was invited to the police academy to see what's it's like to protect and serve.

The San Diego Police Department receives 1.3 million calls a year but the majority of those calls aren't covered on the news.

So, Saturday, they wanted to give the media a chance to experience some of what they go through everyday.

In order to understand how little time officers have to react in certain situations -- first, Shannon Handy suited up and took part in a force options simulator exercise.

This $180,000 tool uses video and laser guns and is one of several tactics cadets spend six months at the academy doing.

Knowing how to deploy a taser, as well as when canines are used, and maneuvering a patrol car, are all crucial in figuring out who will move on to become a police officer.

As is, understanding the threats associated with the job.

Newly appointed police Chief Shelley Zimmerman is an advocate for transparency within the department.

Which is why she allowed CBS News 8 and other members of the media to be there Saturday. It's also the reason she is working on a plan to have all officers wear cameras on their bodies.

"We are currently testing 10 officers with a cameras right now, the testing is going very well," she said. "Some of the departments that have deployed cameras, their complaints have dropped more than 80 percent because not only does it hold the officer accountable, it holds the public accountable."

Not everyone who applies makes it through the academy. The ones who do, also have to train in the field for four months before becoming an officer.

This type of open house isn't just for the media. The academy holds similar ones for the public -- the next open house is April 26. For more information, CLICK HERE >>.

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