Simulator training helps O’Fallon police prepare for life and death scenarios

O’FALLON, Mo. – Police in O'Fallon, Missouri have a new training simulator to prepare officers for the worst situations. Law enforcement agencies agree these new simulators are vital for training in today's world.

The new VirTra V-300 Simulator System can put officers in the middle of 179 different scenarios. It’s an intense experience, complete with natural sound, where life or death spilt-second decisions have to be made.

“The operator at the control dictates what goes on. So if officer comes in and does everything he should do, he can make it good or bad for him,” said Ed Smith, range master and training officer for the O’Fallon Police Department.

With some scenarios, the goal is to deescalate any situation. When non-law enforcement attempt the simulator, they come away stunned.

“They walk out of here saying, ‘Holy cow, you guys make very fast and quick decisions’ and we want public to know that,” Smith said. “That this is what we see every day on the streets.”

The school shooter scenario forces officers to quickly find the shooters, separate them from students, and end the threat as soon as possible.

“Officers have all the tools on them that they would on the street, their OS, Taser, pistols, and rifles,” Smith said.

“I would rather make a mistake in here than go out on street and make a mistake. A mistake on the street will cost someone their life.”