LAW & PUBLIC SAFETY

Simulation training prepares Camden officers for active shooter, self-harm situations

BY Michael Hill, Correspondent |

The Camden County Police are learning lessons in the use of force and de-escalation through the VirTra 300, a simulator designed to prepare them for real-life scenarios they may face on the job.

The simulator has five surrounding screens to imitate the many simultaneous events at one scene. From emotionally disturbed persons to self-harm situations, the simulation runs the gamut of police response.

Sgt. Raphael Thornton put Officer Levi Still in the middle of an active shooter situation, giving him the goal of preserving life by eliminating the threat.

“He did his job,” said Thornton. “This training is not to say, ‘He got an A on it or a B,’ it’s to instill the mindset.”

The county police are inviting in community members and mandating all 400 officers to train on the simulator. They hope to reinforce the idea that even though officers have a deadly force weapon on hand, there are plenty of other tools and tactics to use for situations they encounter.