HPD to employ new training system

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Hattiesburg Police Department (HPD) is using a virtual training firearms simulator as a training method for all of its officers to use.

Public Information Officer, Lt. LaTosha Myers-Mitchell said, "Chief (Anthony) Parker felt that the officers needed an additional tool that will aid them in their in-service training. This tool is designed to present hundreds of scenarios for officers to get practice in firearms training. And not just firearms training, but also in de-escalation training."

HPD is the first department in the state to receive this type of simulator.

Two instructors will be in charge of teaching the officers over 600 scenarios.

Director of training, Anthony Fontaine said, "In this day and time, we're trying to do more de-escalation training. The original firearms simulator if you will, concentrated more on shoot, don't shoot scenarios for the most part. The equipment gives us all of our gear that we normally carry. But, also, it just puts you in a situation that you may or may not have been in before, and gives you an opportunity to fix problems that you may encounter in the future."

Fontaine said officers have not yet trained on this simulator, but have watched a demonstration before and are looking forward to training with it.

Citizens will have the opportunity next year to use the simulator and see what officers go through in the citizens academy.

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