Deputies and members of the jail staff at the Clay County Justice Center will now be able to supplement their firearms training with a new tactical weapon simulator.
Laser Shot, a company based in Stafford, Texas, creates interactive simulator-training programs for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Department of Homeland Security, various military services and law enforcement agencies worldwide.
On Tuesday, Laser Shot Manager of Law Enforcement Content/Training Greg Cunningham taught CCSD Sheriff Mike Heaton, Chief Deputy Rob Gambill, Firearms Instructors Deputy Josh Krause and Patrol Sgt. Jason Frazier how to use the new technology. New Deputy Homer Knopp was also on hand to familiarize himself with the new training equipment.
Gambill explained to The Brazil Times the new equipment would be an invaluable training tool for new officers.
"This will be a way for officers to familiarize themselves with new weapons in a classroom environment during their normal shifts," Gambill said.
The simulator includes various interactive scenarios an officer could potentially face while on shift, ranging from domestic disputes to hostage situations to undercover work. The officer must determine in each simulation if the situation can be "talked out" or if various uses of force, including deadly force, that might need to be implemented to bring it to a resolution. As the officer's training evolves, the scenarios change.
In an effort to make the simulator all the more realistic, two weapons have been ordered and are being modified to simulate the feel of a firearm when shot.
"This equipment will supplement our live firearms training. The goal is to work on decision and marksmanship skills in a classroom setting," Gambill said. "After the training session, officers will be able to discuss their performance and learn more about our policies regarding their choices during the training."
The new training equipment, which was purchased with department training funds, has the potential to be taken to a firing range for use during live firearms training sessions and can be upgraded in the future with new scenarios as needed, possibly with specific scenarios created by the CCSD.
"The various scenarios built into the system will allow officers to learn to use the appropriate amount of force," Gambill said. "Some people might think it looks like one, but this isn't a video game."