BARTLESVILLE, Okla. — Police officers respond to a wide range of situations including active shooters as we saw last week at a St. Francis medical complex.
But have you ever wondered what it would be like to face that situation as an officer? The Bartlesville Police Department has an immersive simulation experience for the public.
2 News Oklahoma’s Amanda Slee went through a few simulations and shares her experience.
The program is called MILO which stands for Multiple Interactive Learning Objectives. Basically a person is put through an immersive, hands-on scenario that police might face.
You get a weapon which feels real but fires as a laser. You are given a prompt on a projector screen that tells you the nature of the scene. Then, you work the case as an officer presenting who you are and deescalating the situation. Once you finish the simulation, one of the Bartlesville instructors debriefs you on the situation, how you could have handled it better and explains why they do what they do.
“When you watch these events take place or hear about them you don’t get the full understanding of what it’s like to be there in that moment and what we actually do like boots on the ground in these type of scenarios," Josh Newell a Corporal with the Bartlesville Police Department said.
The goal is to show the community what law enforcement face.
"When we bring a civilian in it’s been awesome to see the change or the response and feedback and the questions that they ask when we put them through these scenarios," Newell said. "They go through and they have these questions and we are able to answer them and clear up some of the stuff. They’re like 'oh I didn’t know that' or 'I didn’t realize you guys did that' or 'wow that happened so fast.'”
He says they’ve received a lot of positive feedback from people who’ve gone through it.
“Even people that have completely different views as me or the police department or aren’t pro-law enforcement have come in here and were able to keep an open mind and listen to the instruction that we gave them go through the scenarios. They were able to even see our side of why we do what we do,” he said.
Newell explains some people understand the experience but don’t become as involved while others come out of it emotional.
“I've had someone break down and cry it's so emotional in the situation and that’s a little more realistic," he said. "Not that we are going to break down on a call but the emotions and the stuff that goes through your mind while you’re out on a call. Not only are we dealing with the situation but internally we’re trying to react with adrenaline coming up and coming down and knowing what could or couldn’t happen.”
There are over 900 simulations with scenarios ranging from a mental health crisis to a domestic incident and even an active shooter situation.
Bartlesville officers go through this type of training twice a year to remind of them of policies and to keep officers ready for any situation, particularly for situations they respond to the most.
“Domestic scenarios are one of the most common things that we respond to. That scenario could easily happen at any time we respond to a domestic scenario. So we try to train for the most common things that we respond to as officers,” Newell said.
The MILO day continues Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. by appointment.
Bartlesville police plan to hold more MILO simulation days to educate the public and answer their questions.
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