Baltimore police offer 'shoot, don't shoot' simulator to put people in officer's shoes

Posted at 4:02 PM, Jan 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-10 23:28:37-05

Baltimore police want to give people a sample of what officers go through on a daily basis, including high pressured situations. 

Being an officer sometimes means you have to think on your toes. 

"When you're under that level of stress, even in a simulated mock environment, your heart rate still goes up, you start to breathe a little heavier, you get a little tunnel vision," Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said. 

Davis and the rest of the department know the feeling all too well. 

"We do it just so folks can have a glimpse of what it's like to make that split second decision. It's the ultimate split second decision, right. The decision that you make to take someone's life," he said. 

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There were 13 police involved shootings last year, so Davis wanted to give people a chance to experience what it's like from an officer's perspective in these scenarios. 

"...and really the split second decisions that police officers make here in Baltimore and across our country every day," he said. 

Reporter Skyler Henry went through the virtual simulator that tests your reflexes, communication skills, and accuracy. 

"You really don't know what's going through the officer's mind," Tiffany Brown, one participant, said. 

"Deadly force is a last resort. It's not the first option, but a last option," Lt. Sean Brown, who's in charge of the training session for officers, said. 

It's a last resort Davis wants to make sure his officers are prepared for. 

"Being able to exercise sound judgment is a skill that's developed over time. It's a skill. Marksmanship is a skill," Davis said. 

About 40 people have signed up to participate in the simulator Tuesday night. Including Dwayne Elmore, an aspiring officer. 

"My stress levels were definitely going up. You feel your heart pacing even though you know it's just a scenario," he said, shortly after completing the simulator. 

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