Converse police force grows, gets more training as city expands, adds more residents

CONVERSE, Texas – Converse police said their growing city limits are leading to a bigger police force.

Fifteen new officers have been hired in the last two years.

The agency has started doing more training for the new officers to better prepare them for scenes they might encounter on the streets. 

Sgt. Gil Martinez, chief training instructor, said the scenes allow officers to practice properly using their voice, a stun gun and lethal force without being put in harm’s way.

“In the past, officers would just shoot at targets, hit paper and register a score,” he said. “It didn’t register real life. In real life, people act a certain way. People grab things.”

Veteran officers also go through the training and learn how to de-escalate a scene.

Justin Torres, only five weeks into his new job as a police officer, said the training has allowed him to put himself in scenes he has not yet experienced.

“There’s no routine call. Everything is different. Every call is different. It might be the same call twice in a row, but it’s a completely different outcome,” Torres said.

With three children at home, Torres’ goal is to be one step ahead of the bad guys on the streets and get home to his family safely.

“Once it happens, it happens. And you got to make sure you do the right thing at the end of the day,” he said.

The agency is looking to add four more officers as a new annexation is voted on.

The police chief wants to have one officer for every 500 residents. He thinks the training is a good way to get his officers ready for the expected population growth.  

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