To the Editor:
Last Wednesday I saw the invitation to the public to try out the firearms training simulator. Since I was working near Granby that day, I went directly from work. It was both informative and humbling. After an hour presentation on the use of deadly force by a number of officers, a number of us got to try it out. This is no virtual arcade game, it throws you into numerous situations a police officer might encounter. Forget all you’ve seen in the movies and TV, the split second decisions that have to be made as one of the “good guys” is the nervous, humbling part of this. You may consider yourself to be a good shot on the range but in a tense situation with perhaps innocents down range or unknowns like,”is this guy armed” or “is he or she even a threat”, you may hesitate or in an instant pull the trigger.
As a police officer you are held to an extremely high standard and you will be judged endlessly by the media, authorities and public for your decisions in the field that were made in an instant. An officer may hesitate due to thoughts like,”what happens to my family if I make the wrong call”. Hesitations can cost an officer his life, the “bad guys” don’t have this problem. Hopefully this will be made available again when the machine comes back to Grand County. My thanks to Grand County law enforcement for this opportunity and for the risks you take to “serve and protect”. Even if you don’t want to try the simulator,the presentation might interest you. You might find out why non-lethal forces have limited applications,how often people miss in a gun fight,how scenarios may escalate or not by an officers actions, how quickly situations can go south,in short you may better appreciate what it takes to keep our society as safe as it is.
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