LONDON KY—Training with firearms became more realistic for officers at the London Police Department (LPD) when they received the TI Firearms Simulator from the Kentucky League of Cities (KLC) Insurance Services. Every officer of the department is trained annually using the industry’s leading firearms simulator technology, and this year, the Department has its own certified TI Training instructor, Sgt. Travis Hurley.
“It’s an excellent tool for firearms and judgement training that we can do in-house,” Sgt. Hurley said.
To begin training, every officer places a Glock outfitted with a CO2 cartridge inside their gun belt. As they stand in front of a large projector screen, Sgt. Hurley will provide a brief message about the situation they are about to encounter – very similar to a message officers would receive from Dispatch. Once the scenario begins, officers must react to everything on the screen as if they are on-scene.
“My name is Mike, and I’m with the London Police Department,” said Officer Mike Holliday, when he entered a scenario where he entered a house where a domestic dispute was underway. His posture illustrated that he was on alert and recognized the possibility for danger. Often times, Sgt. Hurley will throw officers into situations with the simulator where they must use their verbal skills to deescalate a situation where someone may be suicidal or violent.
“If an officer used deadly force during the scenario, I asked them to justify their actions and what they could have done differently,” Sgt. Hurley said.
Each time an officer completes a scenario, KRS 503.090 (1) and (2) shows up on the screen. This law explains what lawful use of deadly and physical force is. Then the screen goes dark and the sentence “Justify your actions” appears. The variety of scenarios officers are placed in during the simulator are based off of real-life events that officers have experienced across the U.S. These include facing hostile individuals, domestic complaints, active shooter situations, and home invasions. The bodycam footage of those situations are included in the training. In some instances, officers who recorded the footage didn’t survive the event.
“Within a fraction of a second in which an officer reacts to a high-stress situation, may be pulled apart by media, lawyers, and the public for weeks, months, and maybe even years,” said Derek House, chief of the LPD.
Chief House stated that having Sgt. Hurley as an TI Training Instructor is valuable to the Department, and makes the LPD a host agency for other KLC police agencies. The simulator has been scheduled to travel to more than 40 other host agencies between November 2015 and November 2016. The simulator is scheduled to leave the LPD this week for the Jackson Police Department.