Lawton Police Department upgrades shooting simulator

Lawton Police Department upgrades shooting simulator
LAWTON, OK (KSWO)-Lawton Police Department tested their decision-making skills Thursday on their newly upgraded shooting simulator.
Its official name is "Multiple Interactive Learning Objectives", and it has been in use for about seven years, but is now equipped with more than one-hundred new scenarios to better train officers for real-life situations.
Lawton Police Department Sergeant Stephanie Crawford said she's been using the shooting simulator since they got the system in 2010.

She believes the system is a training tool that can better prepare all officers before going out in the field. 

"All situations that police officers are facing each day in the job is always different,” said Crawford. “Every situation is different. You don't know what you're going to get into each time."

The simulator allows officers to practice how they would react in a variety of situations that may require them to pull their weapon on a suspect.

The simulated situations range from calls like domestic assault to a murder suspect on the loose or you can even create your own.

In one scenario, a former employee was fired a week ago, from his job and returned to his workplace for his last check but was acting erratically.

Sergeant Crawford had to make the decision to shoot the suspect after he began waving a knife and coming towards her.

"In real life, the decision we have to make are split second decisions,” said Crawford. “This is very realistic to that. You don't know what's going to come next. Is the person going to comply and follow commands or does the person have a weapon."

Lawton Police Department Sergeant Timothy Jenkins agreed with Crawford that with these upgrades it better quips officers with what they will see in the real world.
"So, if were able to come in and be presented with things you see on the street on a daily basis than were able to get different tools in our toolbox when we do see these scenarios,” said Jenkins.

Sergeant Crawford said the simulator helped her be more alert in real life and better interpret both body language and what a suspect is saying before acting.

She said the simulator is something she couldn't do her job without.

"Some of those can be very nonlethal and some of the situations can be lethal,” said Crawford. “It's very important for us to be trained and prepared for those situations so the outcome is appropriate for the suspect and the officer."

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