MARIETTA - The Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy, which is part of the office of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, responded to a request by the Washington County Sheriff's Office to bring its mobile training unit to the Mid-Ohio Valley for use by area law enforcement officers.
The training unit includes firearms and driving simulators that help officers. The Center for Public Safety Training at Washington State Community College was the host site for the training unit Nov. 5-7.
OPOTA instructors were present to guide registered officers and deputies through the use of the two simulators.
WSCC President Bradley Ebersole was able to experience the simulator and learn about its many uses for training.
Ebersole said, "The realism of the technology was quite amazing. I am pleased that we can provide such high quality continuing education and training through our Center for Public Safety Training."
OPOTA makes the mobile training unit available to law enforcement agencies throughout the state on a request basis.
The use of these simulators enhances the use of real life scenarios in training that neither a live firearms or driving range can do, according to a press release. Firearms training simulators are able to complement the training on a live fire range.
The absence of live rounds enables new ways to train.
"We are pleased to offer this very important training to Ohio's law enforcement officers as part of OPOTA's Mobile Training Academy," said DeWine. "We bring the simulators to law enforcement agencies free-of-charge so that officers can work to enhance their decision-making skills and prepare for dangerous, life-threatening situations."
Firearms (and driving) simulators provide:
* Judgment training Advanced judgment or critical thinking skills (decision-making is required as to if/when you shoot or with what level of force you should use).
* Threats during training The stress of receiving return fire can be safely simulated with the Threat-Fire in the simulator.
* 300-degree training Due to the safety requirements, trainees are forced to focus directly in front of them on a live fire range. A trainee cannot train to shoot in different directions, shoot off-balance, or instantly spin 180 degrees to look for and engage the threat.
* Moving target Most real life engagements involve shooting at moving targets. This requires expensive and specific equipment to accomplish on a live fire range.
* Safety The use of live ammunition requires extensive safety requirements that reduce the ability of real-world training on a range.
* Cost and access Live ammunition is expensive and at times not available due to worldwide shortages.
* Environmental agency Many shooting ranges are closed every year due to environmental concerns; with a simulator there is zero environmental impact, zero lead in the air, zero chance of shutting down training.
* Operation - An indoor firearm simulator can operate around the clock, regardless of weather.