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Erving to reap rewards of police driver training

ERVING — The town will see a reduction in property and casualty insurance costs following a driving safety course taken by all eight of the town’s police officers, held July 18 at the police station.

The Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Association, the city’s property and casualty insurance provider, offered the training free as a membership benefit. Upon completion of this and other training programs, the municipality is eligible to receive insurance premium credits through the insurance organization’s Rewards Program.

Contained in a 30-foot mobile trailer, the state-of-the-art, computer-driven simulator realistically replicates more than 150 driving conditions that operators of police cruisers, fire trucks, ambulances and other emergency vehicles may encounter, including snow, rain, fog and darkness. In addition, the course includes one-on-one training on emergency procedures and safe driving techniques. According to MIIA’s statistics, accident frequency and costs drop an average of 10 to 25 percent following participation in the driving safety course.

Erving Police Chief Christopher M. Blair, who participated in the simulator training, called it “invaluable training” for all police officers. “The simulator placed my officers in ‘real life’ scenarios that caused them to make split second decisions and the results of those decisions,” he said. “A large percentage of police officers killed each year are the result of motor vehicle crashes, and training in this area should better prepare officers for those high-risk situations.”

MIIA is the nonprofit, member-based insurance arm of the Massachusetts Municipal Association, insuring nearly 400 cities, towns, and other public entities in the state.

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