The Greensboro Police Department has a new firearms training system, funded via a public-private partnership.
The Greensboro Police Foundation donated the Decision Maker: Firearms Training Simulator Training System. The cost of replacing the department's current setup is estimated to be $57,000. This covers the installation, software, and accessories.
The training system is designed to help officers work on their quick responses — particularly when determining the appropriate use of force. Large video screens are used to make it feel immersive, with situations changing in various ways to elicit different reactions. Simulated guns, tasers, and pepper spray are part of the experience.
Dr. Patty Potter is president of the Greensboro Police Foundation. She's tried the system out, and describes the simulator as “intense.”
“I mean you really have to decide instantaneously what you're going to do," says Potter. "And you have a gun that's computerized, and there's a man in the room running the scenario. And some of the scenarios he can actually change as you go along."
The police department is also contributing $25,000 for additional gear for the training system.