Shooting, driving simulator offered at Coffee with a Cop | SkyHiNews.com
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Shooting, driving simulator offered at Coffee with a Cop

In this January 2016 file photo Grand Lake resident Bruce Knight aims a modified 9mm Glock handgun at the Use of Force Training Simulator screen during a Community Night event held at the Granby Town Hall.

Members of Grand County law enforcement and community policing organizations are hosting a community meet and greet session with the public this week at the Granby Town Hall. The first night of the event, called Coffee with a Cop, was held Tuesday March 21. A second iteration will be held this evening, Wednesday March 22 at the Granby Town Hall from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The event, called Coffee with a Cop, is an opportunity for citizens of Grand County and the various communities within it to meet their local officers and deputies. Citizens can bring their questions and concerns to Sheriff Brett Schroetlin and the various Chiefs of Police from the Granby, Fraser/Winter Park and Kremmling Police Departments.

The event will also be an opportunity for citizens to check out the Use of Force and Driving Simulators used by our local departments. Both the Use of Force and Driving Simulator are training devices police agencies use to prepare officers for field scenarios.

Vaguely analogous to video games both simulators utilize large viewing screens where pre-recorded videos are projected. Officers are shown prepared videos and must react appropriately to the given scenario. Simulator controllers can input various commands into the simulators and select multiple different outcomes for a given scenario.

Additionally, the Use of Force Simulator utilizes a modified Glock handgun that fires an invisible laser beam from its barrel each time the trigger is pulled. The gun has a carbon dioxide cartridge that causes the gun to recoil when the trigger is pulled. Before each simulator starts, trainees, or in this case the public, are given instructions by the simulator operator.

The information is meant to mimic the type of information officers receive from dispatchers and is intentionally vague to help evoke the confusion that can develop with early reports of criminal activity.

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The Driving Simulator helps train officers on how to conduct things like high-speed pursuits and how to drive in inclement weather. The simulator is contained within a 24-foot trailer and utilizes a faux driving console complete with steering wheel, lights, siren box, radios and computers. Three large display screens provide visuals for anyone at the simulator console. Simulator controllers can program multiple scenarios into the machine including drunk or distracted drivers.

This is the second time in as many years local police agencies have held a community event in Granby allowing citizens to try out the simulators themselves. The event last year featured only the Use of Force Simulator. The Driving Simulator is a new addition this year after the Police Officers Standards Training Board gave the Simulator to the Grand County Sheriff's Office along with the sheriff's offices in Routt and Moffat counties last spring.