And there is immediate feedback provided, including where they shoot a specific target or if they point their weapon in a dangerous direction. The system, which uses Bluetooth technology, allows officers to use a handgun, shotgun, mace or Taser.
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“It will provide the city (with) immediate feedback, and if they need training on how they responded, and what weapon they want to use,” Maynard said.
Fairfield Police Chief Mike Dickey said officers are trained to use the appropriate means to de-escalate a situation, and most of the time it’s not discharging a firearm.
According to a Pew Research Center study, less than one-third of officers surveyed say they fired a weapon while on the job, not including for training.
Fairfield police officers will begin using the training simulator in February, first on a quarterly basis and then transitioning to monthly training. Maynard said every officer is responsible for every bullet that comes out of his or her firearm and this “allows an officer to expand their ability to respond to situations they see in the real world.”
Mayor Steve Miller said this training tool was “money well spent” and it “gives you a better idea of what all police officers are faced with basically on a daily basis.” Eventually, citizens who sign up for the department’s Citizen Police Academy will also be able to train on the machine.
“When you see the training simulator, and you participate in it, you see these scenarios you don’t think of as a civilian, but as a police officer you could see every day,” he said. “It makes you respect what these folks do for a living.”