Force simulator prompts officers to make split-second decisions

Posted at 11:57 AM, Sep 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-12 13:28:33-04

Officers in Bell County participated in the Force Options Simulator on Monday to help officers quickly use their judgment when confronted with a situation.

It's a simulator that closely mirrors real life situations for police officers facilitated by The Texas Municipal Police Association.

"We like for [officers] to come into this environment and run through these simulated experiences, so that way if they make a mistake, it's made in here in a controlled learning environment," John Wilkerson, Field Representative with TMPA, said.

In the force action simulator, officers respond to different scenarios-, from a routine traffic stop to a disturbance call at a home.

Deputy Ben Rieves with the Bell County Sheriff completed the simulation and walked away with some things he could do differently.

"Focus, I definitely need to brush up on focus. It's easy to allow yourself to be drawn into certain things," Deputy Rieves said.

Wilkerson said that officers are trained to deescalate situations and that many police involved tragedies could be prevented if officer commands are simply followed.

"The people that we deal with, they're the ones that are ultimately responsible with complying with our orders so that we can have a peaceful ending to every situation--that is our end result," Wilkerson said.

The Texas Municipal Police Association facilitates these simulations with law enforcement departments throughout the state. 

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