State lawmakers got quite an eye-opener on Tuesday on the dangers facing police officers on a daily basis.
State-of-the-art technology helps central Ohio officers train for worst-case situations. The training was offered by the Mobile Academy of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy.
Republican State Sen. Jim Hughes was the first lawmaker to take advantage of the firearms simulator.
The demonstration gave lawmakers better insight into how officers need to react with just seconds to spare.
"It's so important to have interactive training," Hughes said. "Because it's totally different when someone tells you what the scenario is, versus doing this."
A firearms simulator is one of two pieces of technology used to train police officers around the state. When it comes to the dangers facing police officers, shootings and crashes top the list.
CrimeTracker 10's Angela An participated in a simulation of a crash with injuries.
The simulator put officers - and An - under four different driving scenarios. Trainers said the different simulations help officers not become complacent.
"That's when officers get into trouble," said Ryan Born, a training officer with Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy. "They forget about stop signs, red lights when running emergency status, so intersections become a problem, high speeds become a problem."
Simulators, like the OPOTA one, force police officers to think twice, so they do not become another statistic.
Last year, 30 of 126 line of duty deaths were caused by crashes.
Since November, 250 police agencies around the state have requested site visits with the OPOTA mobile academy.
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