One Ohio sheriff hopes a firearm training simulator at the Clark County fair will help people to better understand the split-second decisions law enforcement officers must often make.
The training simulator, which goes through a series of different scenarios in which the user must decide whether or not to pull the trigger, will remain at the fairgrounds through Friday and is free to use for anyone 18 years and older.
“You only have like a split second most of the time and people don’t understand that,” Clark County Sheriff Deborah Burchett told the Springfield Sun-News.
“It’s very realistic and very true to life … You have school scenarios, you have traffic stop scenarios, you have domestic scenarios you have people with knives,” Burchett added.
Michell Shaw was one fairgoer who gave the simulator a whirl. She said although the simulator wasn’t real, it still left her feeling nervous and shaken knowing that the situations could very well be.
“It’s a great experience to understand what police officers go through every single day. To have to react in a minute, it’s very stressful,” Shaw said.
“There’s a lot of criticism toward the officers as far as whenever they shoot an innocent person,” Burchett noted. “But they don’t see what we see. So with this, they’ll be able to see what we see.”
But Burchett also believes the simulator to be an invaluable tool for anyone who carries a concealed weapon.
“A lot of times you’ll read in the newspaper about the CCW holders stepping in, and some of it’s good, some of it’s bad,” Burchett said.
The sheriff said they’ve never used any such technology, which costs around $90,000 but was rented for the week for $3,000, but has encouraged all of her deputies to use the training tool while it’s available.