Citizens Play Police; Experience Use of Force Simulations

Citizens experience use of force simulations

Citizens experience use of force simulations

Citizens Play Police; Experience Use of Force Simulations

Law enforcement leaders across the country are looking for ways to build bridges between the communities they serve and the officers who serve them after recent police shootings and the shootings of law enforcement officers.

On July 23rd, the Nash County Sheriff’s Office hosted a forum at Nash Community College with area citizens to discuss these issues and allow people to get first-hand look at the challenges officers face on a daily basis.  Also during the meeting, community members got to be exposed to the types of encounters officers have to face everyday in use of force simulations.

Citizens donned bullet-resistant vests and duty belts and worked though a virtual reality simulator used for law enforcement training.  They ran in place to simulate foot pursuits and then had to pretend to clear a structure, firing their weapon as necessary.  The attendees went through further scenarios where they dealt with armed subjects, non-compliant drivers at traffic stops and other stressful situations officers encounter everyday.  The experience helped citizens learn that the job of law enforcement officers isn’t nearly as easy as they believe.

WNCN reported, “We have chaos in America when we have this,” said Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone. “With this number of threats on law enforcement officers, they’re really on their toes at this time. They want to go home to their families every day.”

Sheriff Stone also said that most of the issues between law enforcement and citizens could be avoided if people would just do what the officer tells them to do.

“The place to fight it out and argue about it is not on the streets,” said Stone. “When that happens and you have that type of attitude, that’s when we have problems.”

Along with the Nash County Sheriff’s Office, members of the North Carolina Highway Patrol, Rocky Mount Police Department, Nashville Police Department and other agencies were present.

The simulations appeared to be a success. One person who spoke with WNCN said, “The scenario really put a face to it and it allowed me to be right there,” said Justin Atkinson. “They really go through a lot.”

There are plans to hold more forums to discuss further issues in the future.

 

  • Usedtowearblue

    Excellent way to get the public to understand what an officer has to go through.