The Emergency Vehicle Operator Course (EVOC) is a 100-hour driver training program that provides Basic School recruits with the special driving skills required to operate a vehicle under very demanding police patrol conditions. Students are first tested for visual acuity, glare recovery and reaction time, then receive classroom and hands-on driver training in two phases:
The first phase is conducted in a controlled environment at the NYSP driver training facility. Instruction includes training in controlled braking, curved and straight backing-up, serpentine, skid pan, police turns, parallel parking, crash avoidance techniques and precision driving skills. To demonstrate their proficiency, students drive a specially laid-out course, both before and after receiving instruction.
These exercises cover the skills required to complete the final stage of Phase I -- the pursuit driving scenario. This exercise puts each of the students in a simulated pursuit driving situation where they are pitted against an instructor under controlled conditions. Students are required to perform divided attention tasks, such as conducting two-way radio communication while avoiding any possible hazardous situations during the pursuit. Students must determine whether to terminate or continue the pursuit based on existing conditions. If the decision is made to continue the pursuit, the student must maintain a safe following distance and complete the course without becoming involved in a collision with any objects or cones outlining the simulated roadway.
In the second driving phase, conducted on public highways, students learn the proper techniques and skills involved in stopping and approaching violators. An experienced instructor plays the role of the violator and presents the recruit with various scenarios that police officers routinely encounter on patrol. This builds upon the driving skills and procedures learned in the first phase of driver training.