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Shoot Or Don't Shoot — Simulator Shows Real-Life Scenarios Deputies Encounter


Police are often faced with situations forcing them to choose between shooting or not shooting.

At the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office a computer projected a scenario on screen of a woman with a gun firing at an officer.

But instead of officers under fire, reporters were asked to step in and see how they would handle the situation.

San Joaquin County Sheriff Steve Moore made it clear this wasn’t a video game, but a real training tool which goes beyond just using a gun.

“You can control with your voice, and can use your chemical agents, you can use your hands, you can use anything else,” says Moore.

A gun, pepper spray and a taser are part of the equipment.

Rangemaster Chris Ford explains why the taser is on the left side and the gun is on the right.

“And I can reach back and back and grab the taser and I accidentally grab the firearm because they have the same grip, in a stressful situation you could possibly mistake it for one or the other,” says Ford.

The simulator has a thousand different scenarios, some of which turn deadly.

In one scenario, a man says his wife is armed with a crossbow. He says the woman has their daughter.

After asking the woman to put the arrow down, Ibarra fires once as she raises the crossbow.

Sgt. Joe Petrino calls the shooting the right action, but maybe once wasn’t enough.

“So there’s no one shot, two shot, 10 shot, it’s whatever you think is necessary given the situation,” says Petrino.

Sheriff Moore says deputies will train on the simulator 4 times each year.

And he says he will take the simulator out to the community so they can see test how they would do and come away with a better understanding of being in the crosshairs.

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