JESSAMINE COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) — With so much focus right now on race and policing you may be wondering how police are trained.
We got to see a small part of it – a training simulator Jessamine County law enforcement get to use once a year.
It’s a scenario-based training. Some of the scenarios we faced were a disgruntled employee shooting up his workplace or a man with a knife coming towards us.
It was hard and very intense.
“Each officer in our agency goes through this once a year in an effort to make them better officers,” says Sergeant Kevin Grimes with the Nicholasville Police Department.
The Kentucky League of Cities has three of the Firearm Training Simulator systems. Law enforcement agencies like Nicholasville Police get a specific amount of time with the system to train all their officers. But departments aren’t required to do the training.
“I’s about as close to realistic as you can get putting officers in hands-on situations that are scenario-based where they have to make decisions,” says Grimes.
Officers will have to talk to the virtual suspects or victims, perform a traffic stop – they might have to escort an elderly person with dementia back home or try to talk down someone suicidal.
But some scenarios just require an officer to react with a gun drawn like a shooting at a movie theater.
The scenarios were so realistic and afterwards, the instructor would give critiques.
“The other thing we’ve been able to do is offer it to people like you, offer it to the media, offer it to our citizens police academy, our politicians because we think it’s important they get to experience a little of what officers go through everyday,” says Sgt. Grimes.
He says that’s especially important to do right now when there’s a lot of attention on police and use of force.
“It’s easy for people to second guess what goes on out there,” says Grimes. “I mean everybody does it.”
How terrible we were at being cops showed us just how hard their jobs truly are. Running towards danger is no task for the weak-hearted.