Bartlett police use firearms simulator to train

Bartlett police use firearms simulator to train

BARTLETT, TN (WMC) - Imagine this: you're a police officer making a traffic stop and the passenger of the car pulls a gun. What would you do?
It's a split second decision that comes with a lot of training. That's why the Bartlett Police Department is participating in a firearms simulator to help prepare.
"If we're going to make mistakes, we want to make mistakes in this room, not out there on the street," Tina Schaber, Bartlett PD captain, said.
The simulator runs more than 250 different scenarios; ranging from a traffic stop, to domestic calls, to actives shooters and everything in between.

"These situations help out officers in their split second decision making, which comes into play a lot." Schaber said.
The gun feels exactly like the pistol a police officer uses. The only difference: it's not filled with bullets. Instead, they use Bluetooth technology and air compression to simulate gunfire.

Much like situations on the streets, the simulator can change in an instant.

Click here to learn how you can test your skills in the simulator.

One example WMC Action News 5's Lauren Squires had to handle was a traffic stop. The man ran a stop sign and, when pulled over, began yelling. Then he reached in his car and pulled out a medal bat and started running towards Lauren.
"Oh my gosh, I don't know what to do. Should I have shot him?" Lauren asked.
"Yes," Schaber said. "A medal bat is as lethal as a knife. You could easily be knocked unconscious or beaten to death."

It's a case where an officer should use their gun to protect themselves and anyone around them.
The simulator trains officers to look at everything around them. And, it points out how easy it is to have tunnel vision in the heat of the moment. 

One example: a traffic stop where the passenger pulled a gun and fired.  Lauren completely missed the gun in the first simulation. But, in the replay, she could see it in plan sight, sitting on the seat between the driver and the passenger.
"Sometimes a cell phone looks like a gun and sometimes a cell phone is really a gun.  So you really don't know and just depending on how quick witted you are and how quick you react.  It's very interesting to see how people who don't have the training that we do react," Schaber said.
The Bartlett Police Department is renting the simulator through Saturday.  Officers can train anywhere from five minutes to thirty minutes, depending on time. Since it doesn't use real guns or ammunition, officers can run through scenarios several times in one training. 
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