What would you do? Fayetteville PD use virtual simulator to prepare for stressful situations

Local News

FAYETTEVILLE, NC (WNCN) – Fayetteville police gave us an inside look at how they train to defuse stressful situations they encounter while on the job. 

CBS 17 reporter Kayla Strayer went through the virtual simulator at the police training center. 

Officers say the interactive virtual training is as close to reality as it gets for them. 

Officers can speak to the people involved in the scenarios in an effort to diffuse the situation.

The first scenario was a call about a disgruntled employee at city hall who had just been fired. He was inside this truck with a gun to his head.

The scenario ended with the man walking inside and shooting people. 

Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins debriefed the situation with us. “Your listening skills, your heartbeat is coming, a lot of things are happening but ultimately you’re coming out here to help and save someone,” Chief Hawkins said. 

The next scenario was a call about a man and a woman arguing in an alley.

In one ending, the man runs away and the woman threatens the officer with a syringe. In another, the man shoots the officer. 

Assistant Police Chief Anthony Kelly says this is vital training for their officers.

“Police officers are put in stressful situations daily, we train under stress, it helps you understand how to make decisions in stressful situations.”

In real life, Kelly says officers have to react in some way. The ultimate goal is to diffuse the situation and save lives. 

“It’s like a math problem, you’re running these scenarios through your head and what am I going to do if he does that, it opens your eyes to realize that we can’t pause, stop, rewind life.” 

People going through the citizens academy have a chance to take part in the virtual simulator. 

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