GUILFORD COUNTY, NC -- It's a very real situation in a very fake environment.
A projector, laser detectors and weapons loaded with CO2 set the scene for Guilford County Sheriff's Deputies in their new Use of Force Simulator.
"It just helps prepare an officer for what they might encounter in the street," Training Sergeant Larry Gritton said.
Instructors like Gritton put one of 700 scenarios in a computer to see how deputies respond. Then they decide what happens next.
"So if the officer is giving good verbal commands and officer safety, we can have the suspect comply, at the same time if there's a threat we can have the officer react," Gritton said.
A reaction that might be different outside of this dark room.
"Well obviously if they're shooting at you in a training scenario, it's just a screen. But if you're dealing with real people then the threat can be serious," he said. "The threat can be physical harm and/or even your life."
One of the threats a deputy might respond to is a hostile situation at a known drug dealers house or a domestic dispute. They don't know if the suspect has a weapon until they arrive and even then they don't know if deadly force is necessary.
Deputies say all they can do is prepare and hope citizens comply.
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