Virtual scenario training for local law enforcement

Published: Dec. 17, 2019 at 10:53 PM CST
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CALCASIEU PARISH, La. (KPLC) - There are few things that can simulate real life situations that law enforcement officers face every day, but the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office has a virtual training system that comes pretty close and it’s preparing officers across Southwest Louisiana for anything that could happen.

“It’s definitely about critical thinking," Captain Cinnamon Salvador with CPSO said. "There is no way we can account for every possible situation that an officer might encounter, but our hope is that this system helps them learn to think critically, learn to assess their target, determine whether or not their friendly or not, assessing their suspect. They need to be aware of the area around their suspect, they wouldn’t want to accidentally hurt someone who wasn’t involved.”

The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office has been using the firearms training simulator for the past three years. It has hundreds of simulated situations and the outcomes of those situations can change based on the officer’s approach to the situation.

Just this month, six officers across the country have died in the line of duty. CPSO hopes this training will not only keep the public safe, but the officers safe as well.

“It doesn’t start when they step out of their car," Captain Salvador said. "It starts before they even get to the situation. They need to be thinking about what they could potentially be walking into and what they need to be prepared for. They can’t start to prepare themselves mentally when they walk up to the house, it has to start well before then.”

Michael Walker, the Lieutenant over School Resource Officers, says situations are always different and can change at the drop of a hat. He says this training helps officers make the best decision that they can in the moment through this training.

“Since we’ve had it and utilized it towards training, we have seen great decision making skills process faster and the shooting segment it offers have allowed us to get the officers to a higher level of marksmanship in a controlled environment,” Lt. Walker said. “As a part of my job being an instructor and teacher of different tactics in firearms, we can get more reps in with the officers in a scenario-based situation. It’s realistic. The more reps they can get, the more situations they go through, the more they learn.”

The Sheriff’s Office says other law enforcement agencies across Southwest Louisiana go through the firearms training simulator as well.

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