TONGANOXIE, KS (KCTV) –From angry traffic stops, to pleasant hellos, there are more than 700 scenarios used to train police officers using the Midwest Public Risk simulation software to learn how to de-escalate situations safely.
Each person doing the simulation has the option to use a firearm, a taser, OC spray, or no weapon at all.
“For police officers, deadly force is the absolute last resort. We don’t want to use deadly force. We want to be able to talk our way out of situations,” Chief Greg Lawson, Tonganoxie Police Department, said.
During this training, if an officer gives correct commands and follows proper safety techniques, the software operator can change the outcome of a scenario.
Some scenarios simulate deadly force encounters including an example of a hostage situation.
Monday night, the people of Tonganoxie could try the software to see what they would do during simulated traffic stops and answering 911 calls.
“To see how fast someone has to calculate the risk of a situation and react accordingly,” Lawson said.
After choosing to use a taser, or fire a gun, officers debriefed the citizens to tell them what a sworn officer would be instructed to do in a similar situation.
“It was very stressful. You don’t really know what’s going to happen next,” Rusty Vervynck who participated in the simulation, said.
“You have to watch every place and see people coming in from different angles. You can’t have tunnel vision for sure,” Mike Lowe, who also participated in the simulation, said.
After completing the simulation, Lowe said the experience was nerve wracking, educational and a reminder of how mental awareness is important.
For the next two days in Tonganoxie, non-law enforcement officers will get a glimpse of what it’s like to train to be one using software.
Participating in the simulation is first come, first serve. Spots are filling up. You can check the Tonganoxie Police Departments Facebook page to see if a spot opens up.
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