CAMDEN COUNTY, Ga. – APEX Officer Training Simulator is a virtual reality system used to train police in various scenarios, where they must decide if faced with a situation to use deadly force.
It might look like a game. But it’s actually the Camden County Sheriff’s Office’s new training tool.
“It can potentially reduce the chance of a fatal interaction, whether it’s the law enforcement officer or the person they engage on the street,” Camden County Sheriff Jim Proctor explained.
In addition to this virtual use of force training, Camden County MPs as well as St. Marys and Kingsland Police are learning de-escalation techniques, while becoming more proficient with firearms without having to go to a real shooting range.
Corporal B. Fishel of the Kingsland Police Department says this type of training greatly prepares officers for real-life encounters that require split-second timing.
“It forces you to think quickly and it’s very realistic,” Fishel said. “We have split seconds to respond there, and we would much rather make that mistake here than on the pitch.”
The use of lethal force by police is a common phenomenon in the United States. According to Statistica.com, there have been 358 police-involved shootings from the start of 2022 through Monday. So far, none have been in Camden County in 2022, but in Jacksonville there have been four. In Clay County, there was one. So far, there have been no police-involved shootings this year in Nassau and St. Johns counties.
The training is not limited to law enforcement in Southeast Georgia. North Florida law enforcement has an open invitation to try it.
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