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Old May 30, 2013, 09:19 AM   #1
LewSchiller
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Using a police simulator to train civilians

last night my wife was at the bi-monthly Ladies Night at the shooting range. It's really a great program - they do class presentations...she gets range time with an instructor..it's a great deal.

Last night they had a police simulator and she got to participate. It sounds like a very useful and thought provoking tool, especially for situational awareness. My observation though, based on her recounting the experience, is that if you were to use it as a regular training tool you'd be teaching a CC civilian to do the wrong things.

The system rewards you for acting like an LEO. You approach a house with a Realtor and see somebody trying to get in the front door. Working on the lock. The guy turns around and reveals that he has a firearm in that it falls from his waistband. Rather than back away and flee you as the participant are supposed to draw and engage. In fact the system would have you as participant un-holster your weapon upon seeing the guy in the first place even though he has his back to you and could very well be a serviceman working on the house for the seller. (My personal take on it since that's what I do) This is great for an officer but not for civilian CC. All of the scenarios went that way because, after all, it is a police simulator.

As useful as it sounds, I would think that the companies who produce the simulators would come out with one appropriate for citizens who carry, or am I over-thinking it?
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Old May 30, 2013, 10:05 AM   #2
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It sounds like your concerns are very well-founded. I can see all sorts of problems with teaching police tactics to civilians.

Presumably a civilian version would be a matter of changing the software, so it should be relatively easy to do. I'd guess the problem would be lack of demand relative to the cost of the simulator -- but it sounds like there's a marketing opportunity in there somewhere...
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Old May 30, 2013, 10:10 AM   #3
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I've been to a range that had such. It was fun but they ditched it. This was 90's tech and the components couldn't take the pounding from the amount of civilian usage (it had a screen you shot at).

It is fun though.
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Old May 30, 2013, 10:21 AM   #4
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The tech in this simulator sounds awesome. No doubt it's expensive. The BG's reaction changes based on what you do - where a shot you fire might hit him - or her if there is a BG who's a her.

Also, I don't mean to imply that they were teaching LEO tactics as what you should do...but if a person were exposed to it enough my concern is that an LEO mindset could take hold and that would be a bad thing.
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Old May 30, 2013, 10:31 AM   #5
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The trainer may not have intended to teach police tactics, but as you say, if the system rewards you for acting like an LEO, it's teaching you to act like one... if done regularly, that would tend to lock in tactics that aren't appropriate for civilians.

As a one-off experience, it would be a lot of fun -- coupled with discussion of the differences between what police and civilians need to do, it could also be useful.
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Old May 30, 2013, 10:36 AM   #6
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Oh for sure...I think it'd be a real hoot as did my wife.
It's not the first time, though, I've heard of LEO sims being used as part of civilian training programs. A CC sim would be very helpful but it probably wouldn't be nearly as much fun. I mean how exciting is it when 95% of the time your appropriate response is...Flee!!

Many years ago I got to fly a 737 simulator at United Airlines training facility in Denver. That was the best video game...ever...and I bet it's way better now.
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Old May 30, 2013, 10:48 AM   #7
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The same thing could be said of using military training for police, couldn't it?
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Old May 30, 2013, 10:49 AM   #8
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Yes, but I'd suggest that military and police methods are far more compatible than police and civilian CC
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Old May 30, 2013, 02:37 PM   #9
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threatdynamics.com ....

I used a FATS system in the early 1990s. The PMO or MPs of Fort Lee VA had a system in the office.
Overall I see the merits of simulation training for private citizens but it shouldnt be the same standards as sworn LE, armed security or military troops.
I saw a new system in OR called www.threatdynamics.com .
Its a good concept but no armed citizen should think military tactics are the same as proper skills to deal with a lethal force event.
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Old May 30, 2013, 03:21 PM   #10
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I have had the privilege of using a similar (federal) system several times.

There is a need for some slight modifications in the software, of course, but overall it's a very useful system.
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Old May 30, 2013, 03:45 PM   #11
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My wife has added that doing the simulator taught her a very important lesson: She is woefully unprepared for an actual situation.
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Old May 30, 2013, 03:58 PM   #12
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I had occasion to run through a similar police simulation toy (which I consider them to be) several years back when I enrolled in a citizens police academy course.

I find them unrealistic and far too naive and simple, if for no other reason than the "bad guy" responds the same way each and every time, no matter what you do. It doesn't react, respond and adapt to your actions, and there's no sense of continuum. I found it to be simply a computerized version of the old good shoot/bad shoot walk and pop simulations they used to use in the old days ala Magnum Force.
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Old May 30, 2013, 04:59 PM   #13
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That wasn't this one. Apparently this one reacted differently depending on what you do.
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Old May 30, 2013, 06:06 PM   #14
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We use something identical to this for work called a Force Options Simulator. Our local training center just upgraded from the old model with a few hundred scenarios to the new model with 3000 pre-programmed scenarios and editing software to create your own. It's a pricey set up but if you could get your hands on a small trailer (what we use) and got a good handle on the software you could make your own scenarios with their video and run a program and make a little money. Just a thought.

Ours reacts well. If you perform poorly, you lose control of the situation and get assaulted or shot. If you control the situation the program will often de-escalate and you gain compliance and restrain the subject. It came with a neat feature where if you were "shot" by the bad guy a little box would actually shoot you with a rubber projectile propelled by air. A lot of folks whined about how bad it hurt so it was removed. I was fortunate as I did all my runs right and was never shot.
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Old May 30, 2013, 06:17 PM   #15
LewSchiller
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Actually, people in Metro Denver can avail themselves of
http://www.shooterready.us/index.php
An indoor laser training facility with 2 simulator stations.
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Old May 31, 2013, 10:36 AM   #16
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Quote:
csmsss I had occasion to run through a similar police simulation toy (which I consider them to be) several years back when I enrolled in a citizens police academy course.

I find them unrealistic and far too naive and simple, if for no other reason than the "bad guy" responds the same way each and every time, no matter what you do. It doesn't react, respond and adapt to your actions, and there's no sense of continuum. I found it to be simply a computerized version of the old good shoot/bad shoot walk and pop simulations they used to use in the old days ala Magnum Force.
Shortcomings notwithstanding, they are far superior to shooting bullseye targets with wad cutters.

Clausewitz said "The greatest enemy of the good plan is the dream of the perfect plan."
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Old May 31, 2013, 10:40 AM   #17
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Yes - despite my concern about the wrong reactions being reinforced since it's LEO centric, being in that simulated situation shows you a whole world of issues you never consider if all you do is punch paper.
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Old June 1, 2013, 09:13 PM   #18
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You would need a full background check before teaching civilians our tactics ... hate to be the one who first teaches and trains a gangbanger or mafia hit man, mentally disturbed or a wanted person police tactics... That would not be good.

I make a lot of videos and purposely hold back a lot knowing unknown civilians watch these videos! They get enough training in prison, why help out some of these criminals anymore than needed???
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Old June 1, 2013, 10:30 PM   #19
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Truth be known, true enough mafia style, gang bangers, terrorists who truly have their stuff together probably train as much if not more than Leo tactics. I guess depending on where you work as a Leo but like me a Leo in a small town our training consist of qualifying one box of ammo a year at 25 yards and a lot can't hardly do that. I think most that's the only time the ever shoot their gun. Houston P D I think the qualify twice a year. Still 1-2 or 4 times that's no training. Your training is you teach yourself on the streets.
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Old June 2, 2013, 07:23 PM   #20
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NYPD....

The approx 34,000 sworn armed officers of the NYPD must now quality only ONCE per FY(fiscal year). To my understanding they are also mandated to get at least 1 night time range session.
They only use 9x19mm & .38spl too.
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Old June 3, 2013, 01:34 AM   #21
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Wait, does this mean I shouldn't be using GTA: San Andreas as my training simulator?

I would love to try a police simulation, even though it does sound more like a fun virtual reality experience than a serious training tool.

And in all seriousness, playing Grand Theft Auto did make me more aggressive on my motorcycle. No joke, it was scary when I realized it. Point is, even if you don't take an activity seriously as a training exercise, it could still affect how you treat similar experiences in real life if you repeat it enough.

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Old June 3, 2013, 10:58 AM   #22
g.willikers
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Some Gander Mountain locations have simulators and virtual ranges.
https://gandermtnacademy.gandermountain.com/
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Old June 3, 2013, 11:12 AM   #23
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One of my local ranges has one, and they even have a class that allows you to use it. I played around with it in my Defensive Handgun Class. It mostly has LEO scenarios. But it did have about 3 dozen civilian scenarios, each of which had 2 or 3 different ways (usually the BG would fight, run, or surrender) of playing out depending on how the instructor decided to run it. So in reality there were about 100 different scenarios that could be run on it for civilians. You weren't rewarded for acting like a hero, and as a matter of fact, more points if you could avoid a fight. It was actually quite eye opening because it put you in certain positions you might never have thought about before.

I wish I could remember the brand name. The instructor was saying that if you had a projector, screen and computer, the basic setup could be purchased for less than $1000 (included software, the light gun, and the camera that "captured" the shots).

Quote:
I find them unrealistic and far too naive and simple, if for no other reason than the "bad guy" responds the same way each and every time, no matter what you do. It doesn't react, respond and adapt to your actions, and there's no sense of continuum. I found it to be simply a computerized version of the old good shoot/bad shoot walk and pop simulations they used to use in the old days ala Magnum Force.
You were using an old one then. The one I played with allowed the instructor to change what was going to happen on the fly. Sometimes the BG would surrender as soon as your gun cleared leather. Other times he would run, or fight back. There were several times during most scenarios when the scenario could be changed. So even if you ran the same scenario, it wouldn't always play out the same way. Even running the same simulation file, you had to be on your toes because the BG might react differently...and there may even be a different person who is actually the BG.

I agree it's not perfect. But there's absolutely no training out there that can fully prepare you for an actual use of force scenario. But this kind of training, along with other types of live fire can certainly make you better. Saying their naive and simple would be like saying shooting at a target on a square range is too simple and ineffective. By itself, yes, it's ineffective. As part of a well rounded training regiment? Both of these activities will be helpful.

Last edited by Gaerek; June 3, 2013 at 11:19 AM.
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Old June 3, 2013, 01:06 PM   #24
LewSchiller
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I'd appreciate it if you could find the name of that system!
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Old June 3, 2013, 01:23 PM   #25
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Used FATS with Armored Transport years ago, great system, and it could definitely have civilian applications. Some of the scenarios we used were also aimed at bodyguards as well as police. I could see an updated civilian FATS with more rugged equipment becoming a very important training tool.
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