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Real criminal enlivens police practice

Island County Sheriff Mark Brown had an unusual day Thursday.

He traveled to the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission in order to tell his two newest recruits that they will be laid off in a month because of budget trouble.

While he was there, the instructors and trainees conducted a mock “incident scene” in a parking lot of the facility, complete with plenty of police vehicles and people in uniforms. Somehow, a suspect in a Normandy Park burglary managed to run right through the middle of the police training exercise.

“It could only happen while I was there,” Brown said with a laugh.

Brown said the instructors sprung into action, gave chase and set up a perimeter around the area. They ultimately caught the man. The recruits weren’t allowed to take part in real police action yet, but they probably learned something by watching their teachers.

In the end, the amusing incident didn’t dull Brown’s blues at having to give two young people bad news about their employment.

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