The simulator puts to the test the split-second reflexes required in assessing what is in the suspect's hand. Is it a pistol or is it a staple gun? The officer's survival — and freedom — depends on their ability to make that distinction in the blink of an eye, he said.
There also are Spanish modules, so officers can practice their language skills in realistic scenarios.
A cutting-edge feature allows the police department to make its own exercises with video-editing software. One day, the simulations will take place at city landmarks, Byrne said.
“They're hoping to get quite a few hours with the recruits in here, and the other officers will start coming in here for training as well,” he said.