There’s new state-of-the-art training at the Odessa Police Department.
“It’s almost real. You don’t know what’s going to pop up next,” said Sergeant Carlos Chavez. “It’s real-life situations.”
Stepping up to give us a perspective on Virtra, Sergeant Tommy Jones.
“It brings the intensity up.
When you’re faced with a new scenario, you’re human and that’s what it does to you. It makes you excited to be okay, what’s next. What’s going to come at me at this point and time. You have to react at the situation that’s given to you,” said Sergeant Jones.
“We have I believe 322 scenarios; and each one of those scenarios has different storylines in them that we can branch off of which means officers, as they’re coming in month after month doing scenarios, there’s a very small chance they’ll see something they’ve already seen before,” said Lieutenant Caleb Lacey.
Lt. Lacey says the camera that tracks the officers provides some valuable insight.
“One of the nice things about this simulator is we can go back and see their shot placement when they are having to use force,” said Lt. Lacey.
That use of force especially when it’s deadly, is typically what makes the headlines.
“It’s not a big deal where an officer talked this person off of a ledge. But if an officer shot and the person fell off the ledge that’s where important news comes in that’s what put the hype out there,” said Sgt. Jones.
Their goal is a word not typically associated with law enforcement.
“Try to de-escalate the situation,” said Sgt. Chavez.
He talks more about that word, de-escalation.
“We’re training our officers now in these times, try to de-escalate best you can,” said Sgt. Chavez.
“We want to de-escalate the situations to where we don’t have to use deadly force,” said Sgt. Jones.
“Every decision we make is centered around our core values as an agency and as a profession, which is service and protection of others,” said Lt. Lacey.
There’s a wall at the new training facility with an important reminder for officers.
Odessa: It stands for operational excellence, dedication, and innovation, ethics and integrity, service and respect, safe and secure community, accountability, and responsibility.
A message that OPD hopes officers take to heart.
For the video, CLICK HERE.