Simulator shows the split-second decisions Hartsville police must make


HARTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) – The Hartsville Police Department began their response to resistance training, which focuses on de-escalating potentially dangerous situations.

This training utilizes an interactive simulator that provides more than 500 different real-life scenarios for officers to practice using different levels of force

One by one, each officer went through various situations Monday where they had to decide to use some force, no force or deadly force.

The simulator also allows the trainer to choose a different outcome of the same situation.

Hartsville Police Capt. Mitch Stanley said the training prepares officers for situations they may face in real life without the dire consequences.

“We have just split seconds to make a decision that could cost someone their life and so every time we get a chance to do something in this situation where it’s not going to cost anyone their life, we take advantage of it,” Stanley said.

A possible suicide, homeless people, and school-related shootings were some of the scenarios officers trained with.

Afterward, officers had to explain why they responded to the situation the way they did.

Stanley said the scenarios display situations officers can come across at any moment and shows them how quickly things can take a turn for the worse.

“It gives us the ability to live those situations over and over and again sharpen those skill sets,” said Stanley.

“I think it’s one of the worst that we have to think about that we may have to shoot someone,” said Cpl. Riley Free.

Free said this is the first time he’s done the training since he graduated from the academy in 2014.

“I would rather have the training and the knowledge that I need that, yes, when we shoot somebody it’s because we have to, not because we want to,” he said.

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