How do members of law enforcement decide if they need to pull the trigger?

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Members of law enforcement have to decide, often within seconds, to shoot or not to shoot.

Scenes like that are seemingly flashing across television screens more often than ever before.

In Ferguson, South Carolina and Cincinnati, police made split second decisions with deadly outcomes.

News 2 got an inside look at simulator training that the troopers with the Tennessee Highway Patrol go through.

(Photo: WKRN)
(Photo: WKRN)

Trooper Krystal Mathis has been on the force for 10 years.

“My main goal when I wake up is to come back home in the same condition when I left, and that’s to get back to my children,” the single mother of three told News 2.

The “Use of Force Simulator” helps train Trooper Mathis to make sure she reaches that goal.

Grant money is used to pay for the simulator that costs $168,000, according to THP.

Sgt. Shane Stafford, a trainer for the simulator, said the program teaches when to use the proper amount of force.

“We see it in the media where officers, they are judged publicly about the decisions that they make to use force, but we rarely see it from the officer’s perspective and how little time that officer has to make that decision,” Staffer said. “We’ll put them in a situation where, if they have to make a deadly force decision, that hopefully they are making the correct decision.”

Hostage situations, active shooters and home invasions are just a few of the situations that the program can simulate.

(Photo: WKRN)
(Photo: WKRN)

“My main goal when I wake up is to come back home in the same condition when I left, and that’s to get back to my children,” the single mother of three told News 2.

Trooper Mathis’s training kicked in when she pulled over Khaleefa Lambert, a man who is charged with first degree murder.

“I pulled over an individual who had just killed his wife, and she was still in the vehicle,” she recalled.

The Trooper’s training kicked in as thoughts raced through her head.

“I need to calm down. I need to think clearly. I need to be able to speak and say whatever it is that I need to say… At the same time, I need to keep my eyes on the individual, make sure I can see his hands.”

The training makes her feel more confident about the decisions they are forced to make.

“It has helped me kind of hone in on my shooting skills,” Trooper Mathis told News 2.

THP reported there have been six “use of force with a firearm” incidents since 2011.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s