Local police prepare for use-of-force training

BURNET — Local law enforcement officers will soon be able to train for the use of deadly force in a mobile simulator that features real-life scenarios. Federal stimulus funds of more than $364,000 will pay for the simulator, Marble Falls Police Chief Mark Whitacre recently told the Burnet County Commissioners.

“It sounds pretty exciting,” County Judge Donna Klaeger said.

The simulator will be mounted onto a trailer and hauled by truck to various police agencies for officer training, according to Capital Area Council of Governments Deputy Director Sheila Jennings.

“It will offer a nonlethal means to train officers on the use of force through simulated exercises,” Jennings said. “The simulator will include a computer that will be programed to set different scenarios and train officers to respond to different situations.”

Situations could include a person held hostage, an individual reaching for what might or might not be a gun or other tests that use footage of actors.

In some confrontations, officers often have only a few seconds to make life-or-death decisions that have long-term ramifications, justice experts said. Simulators go a long way to help officers learn to quickly adapt to such situations.

Advanced Interactive Systems is currently constructing the simulator in Fort Worth, Jennings said.

The simulator could be ready in six months.

“It will certainly be available to all (law enforcement) agencies within the CAPCOG region” including Burnet County, Whitacre said.

raymond@thepicayunetv.com

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