Roanoke Police recruits learn to respond quickly to a very unique call to action. Officer Amanda Martin is teaching the potential officers about water rescues.
On their first day of the training, the recruits are assessed on their swimming skills. From there, instructors decide if they need more practice or are ready to move on and begin learning technical skills.
"We're actually going to teach them how to go into the water," says Martin. "We put them in sweat pants and sweatshirts, we put them in boots and with a weight belt on."
Martin says they've only been teaching this new training for about three years, but there are some very important skills they want these recruits to know.
"I think that's definitely a deer in the headlights moment for them. They get in the water after getting their heart rate up, getting into that colder water," says Martin. "They don't realize how much more difficult it is to try to swim in that situation and on top of that, try to rescue somebody wearing all of that gear."
As far as the swimming lessons go, she says she hopes these are skills the recruits never actually have to use.
"We want to teach them all aspects, all ways, anything we can possibly give them to keep them from actually getting into the water," she says. " So we teach them buoys, ropes, strings, sticks, branches and things like that."
Lessons that will keep them safe as officers, while giving them the skills they need to respond to any situation.