Police officers from across Carolinas begin training for 2020 RNC

YORK COUNTY, S.C. — Officers from across the Carolinas were in York County Friday, going through valuable training ahead of the 2020 Republican National Convention.

They said it is different from the training they typically get, drawing on scenarious that have happened in the past to sharpen skills they don't normally use.

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Deputy Correll Anderson, a 20-year veteran of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office, said he worked the Democratic National Convention in 2012.

He said he could have used this training before the high-profile event.

"This training is very beneficial," Anderson said. "You see it and you see people doing it and it looks like it's easy, but it's not unless you're trained."

Anderson said the skill set developed in the training is developed in the image of Secret Service Agents.

"Police officers, they are trained in the academy to  go direct to threat," Anderson said. "True security is actually avoid and evade."

Over seven days, officers learned not only how to work together, but also specialized skills like emergency medicine, close protection work, and tactical components with one goal -- "Keep everyone safe."

"If you ever have to actually draw your weapon in defense of your client, you've failed in one of the hundred other things that have to be put in place before it comes to that point," Anderson said.

The 70-hour program is the basic level. It ends Saturday with an all day protection exercise of a VIP.

The Intermediate and Advanced programs will be held in the lead-up to the RNC, which is Aug. 24 through 27, 2020.