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February 19, 2014

Jeffersonville council eyes high-tech police training simulator

Theater-like system would cost about $75,000

JEFFERSONVILLE — The city is investing in the training of its police officers and safety of its citizens.

Council members approved funds on first and second reading at Tuesday’s meeting to purchase an approximately $75,000 Ti Training simulator for the Jeffersonville Police Department. Money would come from Local Option Income Tax funds, which are primarily used for public safety.

Police Chief Chris Grimm said the theater-style simulator will be used to train police officers and can also be rented in-house from outside parties, possibly bringing in additional revenue.

“This will greatly improve firearms training for the police department,” Grimm said.

Right now, police officers only have live training twice a year. Using the indoor simulator — picture a giant video game — would allow officers to stay on top of their training without any additional costs.

Police Maj. J.R. Lynch said the technology comes with 435 standard scenarios and 12 new scenarios a year, also giving users the option to customize the simulation experience. Employees from Golden, Colo.-based Ti Training would also help install the system and teach officers how to use it.

“This simulator is not just firearms, marksmanship. It’s decision making, use of force — the No. 1 cause of litigation and risk to any city or department,” Lynch said. “That is the main focus ... You can’t expect people to make these split second decisions whenever they’re training if it’s people standing in front of a PowerPoint reading them something.”

The program also shows a step-by-step review of officers’ scenarios so they know how to improve the next time around.

Council Vice President Lisa Gill said she and other members of the council saw a demonstration of the program last year.

“What I like about this simulator is [the user] could add in additional fires, he can add in other distractions that these officers get used to in their scenarios so when they get on that scene, it helps with their instincts, their reactions,” Gill said.

Terri Hicks, president of the Homeowners Association for Crystal Springs, said she experienced the simulator in Louisville and is in favor of the investment.

“It is amazing. It gave me a whole new understanding for what it’s like to be a police officer on the street having to make a split second decision,” Hicks said. “It will pay for itself a hundred-fold.”

Other items on the ordinance of additional appropriation included utilities for the new police station and a replacement police vehicle.

The council is expected to take a final vote on the training simulator at its March 3 meeting.

 

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