Police simulate real life, sometimes fatal scenarios with new system

Police simulate real life, sometimes fatal scenarios with new system
Jacksonville police officer simulates suicide situation

JACKSONVILLE, TX (KLTV) - An East Texas police department is training to better handle real-world circumstances.

Talking down a suicidal jumper and coming face to face with a gunman are both daily possibilities for law enforcement.

As Captain Robert Mitchell talks down a suicidal man, Captain Jason Price chooses exactly how the jumper will react behind his computer screen.

Some of the most extreme, but unfortunately common scenarios are school shootings.

A situation that could take a turn for the worse within seconds.

“These are not animations, these are not cartoons, these are human actions at human speed,” Jacksonville Police Captain Jason Price says.

Robberies, knife-wielding criminals, and hostage situations are scenarios Jacksonville police say are all too common. “We have a lot of use of force instances here in Jacksonville,” Cpt. Price says.

So, the interactive de-escalation use of force simulator has become a necessity for all officers on the force, veterans and newly sworn officers in are all required to simulate.

“We definitely want to put our veteran officers through it to keep them sharp, put our less seasoned officers through it to maybe give them some training or experience that they can handle in a training environment instead of them getting that experience on the street and making a mistake,” Cpt. Price says.

The system comes with 108 pre-recorded scenarios, where the officers are expected to de-escalate a situation. If the situation turns violent, the officers pull out a fake gun and take necessary action. The new system was introduced just last week. Jacksonville police say soon, the system will be available for civilians to simulate so that they can understand what officers deal with on a daily basis.

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