It’s often a split second decision. Officers have to decide whether to use a gun, taser or some other form of weapon. The Midwest City Police Department is getting the opportunity to practice with a new simulator that will help them make those quick decisions.
The simulation starts in a dark room where the first call comes in from dispatch. There are several different scenarios, from mental health calls to active shooter settings. The officer is able to interact and talk to team members, victims and suspects in the training.
Real weapons are also used. Bullets are replaced with lasers and carbon dioxide cartridges give the jolting effect of shooting a gun.
One person is using a computer to operate the scenario, deciding how the story will play out.
Captain Greg Wipfli said, “What it basically does for our officers is it helps them make better decisions in the streets when they’re dealing with the citizens.”
Especially in the current climate with high police tension, Wipfli hopes it will bridge the gap between officers and the people. The tool will be available to the Citizen’s Police Academy in Midwest City. Other local agencies can use it as well.
The training simulator is $143,000 and funded through the Midwest City Hospital Authority Grant.
It makes scenarios as real as possible so officers can learn and practice, preparing for situations on the streets.