The Georgia Public Safety Training Center (GPSTC) recently acquired and installed new theater-style, scenario-based Judgmental Pistol Simulators at its main campus in Forsyth and at its regional academies. With more than 500 scenarios designed to provide officers with a hyper-realistic training experience that teaches them to quickly and accurately assess suspects as threatening or compliant, the JPS systems are an exceptional training tool for teaching decision making with regard to officer survival and the use of deadly force.
“I am extremely proud of this equipment,” said GPSTC Firearms Section Manager John Roberts. “The scenarios are incredibly realistic, which forces students to make better use of their senses so that they can quickly make the kind of life or death decisions that they will encounter in the field,” Roberts continued. “Knowing that they will have to make similar, split-second judgments when they are on the job can even help some of our basic training students determine if law enforcement is a career choice with which they will be comfortable.”
The JPS systems, which can accommodate multiple users at one time, project both threat and non-threat scenarios using life-size video imagery in High Definition format. Officers have the option of using a wide range of force options including a variety of commonly used firearms as well as less lethal options such as TASER™, OC spray, shotguns containing bean bag rounds, and impact batons/weapons. To further enhance realism, the system utilizes surround sound and ultraviolet technology so that students rely solely on the sight of their weapons for accuracy when using deadly force.
“Instructors play a critical role with the JPS systems,” explained Roberts. “The instructor retains complete control over the system so that if a student is effectively communicating verbal directions to a suspect, the suspect may become compliant. If, however, the student is not communicating verbal directions effectively, the suspect may escalate his or her threatening behavior,” Roberts continued. “I cannot over-emphasize how important it is for officers to fully develop their verbal communication skills, and this JPS accounts for that.”
As instructors run students through a variety of scenarios, they have the option of simulating real-world environmental conditions, such as flashing blue lights or low light settings, all of which challenge students to react effectively. Instructors have the option of playing back scenarios frame-by-frame or in slow motion as well as videotaping student responses to provide a thorough critique of the student’s performance. A variety of reports may also be generated that evaluate student performance.
“I am thrilled to be able to offer this technology to Georgia’s law enforcement officers here at GPSTC,” said Director Tim Bearden. “These systems challenge today’s officers to communicate clearly and react quickly when use of deadly force is needed to keep the officer or an innocent victim safe from harm.”
The new JPS system is used in the following GPSTC training courses: Judgmental Use of Deadly Force, Officer Survival, and Basic Law Enforcement Training. The currently library of scenarios contains more than 500 options, and new scenarios are added quarterly.