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Lawmakers schooled at Gwinnett’s police academy

Cpl. Kathleen Cruthirds shows Commissioner Lynette Howard a gun with “simunitions,” which Howard fired during a demonstration session with legislators Monday.

Cpl. Kathleen Cruthirds shows Commissioner Lynette Howard a gun with “simunitions,” which Howard fired during a demonstration session with legislators Monday.

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State Rep. Dar’Shun Kendrick, who represents the Centerville area, prepares to participate in a firearms training simulation Monday, as Cpl. Jon Golliher shows her the gun and Lt. Chris Long looks on.

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Police Officer George Montilla reacts as he is Tased, during a public safety training demonstration to legislators Monday.

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K-9 Officer Jax bites Officer Brandon Townley during a demonstration for legislators Monday.

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Maj. Pat Cronin helps state Rep. Dar’Shun Kendrick, as she fires “simunition” at the county police department’s firing range, during a demonstration of public safety training Monday.

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State Rep. Timothy Barr, R-Lawrenceville, participates in a driving simulation, under the direction of Cpl. John Bussell, at the Gwinnett Police Training Center Monday.

LAWRENCEVILLE — Commissioner Tommy Hunter killed a man who shot a cop Monday — in a simulation at the Gwinnett Police Training Center.

Commissioners and legislators shot guns with “simunitions,” worked through simulated scenarios both with firearms and driving and watched demonstrations of Tasers and K-9s, becoming the students at the training academy Monday.

“After my scenario, I can just say, I’m glad the police are here to protect me,” Lawrenceville Rep. Valerie Clark, after an armed man got away with a hostage in the firearms tactical simulation she tried during the event.

While questions popped up on gun legislation and other issues often debated under the Gold Dome, Monday’s event wasn’t as much about laws but about showing what goes into keeping the community safe.

“There is always lots of debate about how police officers respond in pressure situations,” Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said. “I thought it was important for our legislators to see … we’re doing everything we can to make sure our officers are equipped well and trained well so they make the right decision in the field.”

Legislators learned about the e-citations program, for which officials have requested legislation for a $10 technology fee for funding. With modems and laptops already installed in police cars, officers are waiting for a hand-held device and printers which are expected to cut the time it takes to write and process a ticket while improving accuracy.

“From an officer safety standpoint this is a must,” Chief Charlie Walter said, noting that the quicker an officer can get off of the side of the road, the safer he or she is.

The system is expected to be implemented by the end of the year.