Life-like scenarios enhance Topeka police officers’ skills

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Ever wonder how police officers train for the situations they’re put in everyday? Topeka Police Department bought a new training simulator to help them prepare for what they might go through on the job.

Officers can now come to their training room in the Topeka Police Department Training Center to prepare for what could happen on the streets. Lieutenant John Trimble with the Topeka Police Department said the department received the system back in August 2016. Starting the week of October 23, 2016, the simulator will become the norm for recruit officers.

“MILO Range, the company that built this machine, they have included 809 scenarios,” Topeka Police Department’s Lieutenant John Trimble said. “Anything that you can imagine a police officer would respond to…they’ve tried to build into this machine.”

The system focuses on target building exercises and decision-making skills. Not every scenario will involve an officer shooting a target. In the scenario playing while KSNT News was there, Lieutenant Trimble was controlling how the simulator played out and was given the options to either have the simulator comply, shoot, or drive off. Depending on what the simulator’s operator chooses will show a different outcome the officers must respond to.

“After each training session, we can debrief on every scenario” Lieutenant Trimble said. “We talk about what the officers could have done better and what they did great to try and make sure we have a better product at the end.”

The system cost the department about $85,000. Trimble said all of the money was paid for by criminals in the Capital City.

“When we do asset forfeitures with drug dealers or things like that…we will sell the property that we seize based on them not paying their Kansas drug tax,” Lieutenant Trimble said.

And thanks to those criminals, the Capital City has implemented new ways to improve officers’ skills.

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