Police Academy graduates weigh in on police shootings - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Police Academy graduates weigh in on police shootings

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It's a split second decision that often comes with a lifetime of scrutiny- using deadly force.

Several recent police involved shootings beg the question: Are police academy recruits more hesitant than ever to join the police force?

24 cadets graduated from Western Technical College's police academy on Thursday and all said while they're taught how and when to use deadly force, the thought makes them nervous.

"It's obviously something that's a last resort," Tanner Gregory, said. "But at the same time, if you're in that situation and it's a necessary action, you take it."

The consequences of using deadly force not only affect the officer involved, but the officer's family and the community.

Nicole Thunder-Kiesow is a member of this year's graduating class and said she wakes up every morning knowing she has a lot to lose-four young daughters.

"It's kind of scary knowing that every day could be my last, but making sure they know that I love them and that they'll be taken care of if something should happen is what matters," she said.

Recent criticism of officer involved shootings is making an impact on police academy recruits.

"I think the hesitation will always be there but at the same time we were taught you don't rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your training," Gregory said.

But Gregory admits his outlook on life has changed since going through the academy's 14 week training course.

"That's now part of my world view...that it might actually happen. And that's different, very different."

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