NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (Aug. 10, 2015)--Police officers only have a few seconds when deciding whether or not to reach for their gun and use lethal force. It's a high-stress scenario that officers across the country face on a daily basis.
The Noblesville Police department is training its officers by putting them through a realistic virtual simulator.
Officers are equipped with real guns that are filled with compressed air, mace and a taser. The officers are throw in into a variety of realistic scenarios and forced to make the best decision based on the circumstances.
"Sir, go ahead and stay in the vehicle. Hey, I'm Jordan Granger with the Noblesville Police Department," yelled Officer Granger during one of the first training scenarios.
Granger is forced to think quickly during a traffic stop with a person known to be aggressive towards police.
The suspect doesn't listen to commands and reaches for a gun. Officer Granger shoots and kills the suspect in the simulation.
"This is about as close as we can come to to realistic training," said Lt. Jon Williams, one of the training instructors with the Noblesville Police Department.
The simulator uses Bluetooth technology and allows the officers to move around the room untethered.
The idea is to give Noblesville police officers the tools and training they need to make the right decisions when patrolling the streets.
Granger doesn't have time to talk the suspect down in his next scenario. He is confronted with an active shooter inside of a school. He fires his AR-15 several times with children on both sides of the hallway. Eventually, the shooter was killed.
"Officers on the streets are regularly called upon to make split second decision that are highly dynamic," said Lt. Williams.
Nationally, the use of deadly force among police officers is a controversial topic. Protests and violent riots have started as a result of police force.
Recently, a police officer in Cincinnati, Ohio was arrested and charged with murder for his actions during a traffic stop that was caught on camera. Violence sparked as recently as Sunday night in Ferguson, Missouri. Protesters took to the streets for the one year anniversary of Michael Brown's death.
A police officer shot and killed Brown last summer. Locally, questions are being raised about an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD)officer's decision to pull the trigger on 15-year-old Andre Green Sunday night.
"Officers work in the real world and in real time so there is no special training or magic training that’s going to make an officer perform a certain way each and every time," said Lt. Williams.
The Noblesville Police Department rented the simulator for the week. It cost about $3,000. Leaders with the department say they are hopeful the officers who complete the training will walk away better decision makers and improved officers.