Editor's note: Reporter Olivia Ingle is participating in the Missouri State Highway Patrol's six-week Community Alliance Program. The program helps inform people of the functions of the Highway Patrol.
Silence. Then the sound of repeated gunfire echoed throughout a room at the Missouri State Highway Patrol's (MSHP) Law Enforcement Academy located at MSHP Headquarters on East Elm Street.
Attendees of MSHP's Community Alliance Program had the opportunity to fire the .40-caliber pistol, also known as a Glock, that all troopers carry.
Prior to stepping on the range, Sgt. Mike Halford discussed gun safety and proper technique with the group.
MSHP has four main rules to gun safety:
• All guns are loaded.
• Keep your finger off the trigger until you have decided to fire.
• Never point the gun at anything you don't intend to destroy.
• Be sure of your target and what's beyond.
"It's pretty simple, concise and to the point," Halford said.
In addition to an indoor firing range, MSHP also has a Firearms Training Simulator (FATS). The system is like a video game that runs recruits and troopers through various scenarios that may require them to shoot or not to shoot. The firearms are lasers and the scenarios play out on a video screen.