Tulsa’s U.S. Attorney Trent Shores is working with the Tulsa Police Department to teach citizens what it’s like to make quick decisions in law enforcement.
The simulator puts you in the shoes of an officer and gives you different scenarios where you have to make split second decisions that could mean your life or someone else’s life.
"It puts them into the shoes of that police officer, so that the individual can understand what it is like to have to make a split second decision that is not just life and death for the police officer; but it could be, obviously, life and death for that individual," said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.
Attorney Shores said use of force has become a huge issue in the United States and said simulators can help citizens better understand police work.
"[It helps in] explaining and understanding why an officer might use force in any given situation, and why an officer would consider lethal force versus non lethal force," said Shores.
TPD said in Tulsa, there is an average of 280 use of force reports each year. This year, that number has dropped to 157 even though TPD said assaults on officers are up 51%.
“We grab someone and they are injured then that has to be reported. If we tase someone, if we spray someone, if we hit someone with our hand, those are reportable. So, anything above just basic physical grabbing it triggers a use of force report," said Lt. Virgil Litterell.
"Dealing with that human element it makes it very difficult for us to deal with certain situations. It is not something that you can just write in a textbook and each and every time follow that to a tee. That's why the laws are subjective,” said TPD Chief Wendell Franklin.