Active shooter training helps prepare Oklahoma officers

As police departments around the country develop new tools to train officers, the goal is to provide life-like scenarios to determine how officers would respond to certain scenarios. Now, officers in Oklahoma are getting the chance to practice responding to an active shooter situation thanks to a new module that has been developed.

According to CBS affiliate KXII 11, the course uses virtual technology to throw officers into extremely lifelike scenarios. William Carter, who leads the instruction course, said the system comprises equipment like video screens and lasers, which can be used together to create a range of situations. What's more, the video-based simulations provide branching scenarios which can change in real time depending on how the trainee responds to the stimulus.

"The purpose of the scenarios gives them the option to use voice control to gain compliance. Or possibly what we call escalate up in the use of force," he said.

To put it simply, the news source clarified, this means officers can decide whether the situation calls for the use of deadly force.

"You wouldn't think that something that's portrayed on a screen which is displayed behind me is gonna have reaction or gonna have that type of effect on you," Chief Don Hyde said. "But it absolutely does."

Hyde added that the police department adopted the technology to provide a safe environment to train on the use of deadly force, and that the department has an "obligation to the community" to ensure all officers have the best training possible.

According to WTHI-TV 10, police officers in Terre Haute, Indiana, also recently took part in an active shooter training exercise, which was held at a nearby elementary school to simulate the conditions of the tragic events at Sandy Hook and Columbine schools. Officers are sometimes faced with the split-second decision whether the use of deadly force is warranted.  This is one area where constant training can make the difference between a necessary decision and a tragic outcome.

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2013-07-12T11:17:52+00:00 June 12th, 2013|Law Enforcement, Training & Equipment|