Redding PD “Force Options Training” gives reporters and others a new perspective on dangerous job

REDDING – Officials from the Redding Police Department hosted a Force Options Training seminar with members of the Shasta County Northern Hispanic Latino Coalition, on March 21. Force Options Training simulates the same training all California peace officers are required to undergo every two years, in order to maintain their POST (Peace Officers Standards and Training) Certification.

Daniela Contreras, a reporter for Action News Telemundo 12/24, participated in the training seminar and even took on a few simulated bad guys during “Shoot/Don’t Shoot” scenarios and other drills.

In one simulation, Contreras took on the role of “Cover Officer,” during an “Active Shooter” related scenario that was taking place inside a school. During the training scenario, Contreras’ partner was shot, causing her to apparently freeze and do nothing, at which time the scenario ended. The scenario gave Contreras a first-hand look at the split second decisions officers have to make.

Force Options Training scenarios give participants a range of simulated force options, ranging from using verbal commands all the way to having to discharge a provided firearm, specifically designed for use with the simulator. The gun is designed to track the path of the rounds discharged by the program participants, to show if they are hitting the target or suspect they are shooting at.

Force Options Training a valuable tool for the community

Those who take part in the program get to see and experience simulated incidents, taken directly from real-world scenarios officers have faced on countless occasions. Participants experience scenarios where situations quickly escalate and can often go from bad to worse to deadly in a millisecond.

Discussing the scenarios and training she participated in, Contreras said, “I appreciated it a lot and I think I learned a lot. I got to experience what (law enforcement officers) experience.” Continuing, Contreras said, “It wasn’t as intense as it could be, with a real, live situation, but it was still very real.”

Contreras is expected to be producing a story about her experience, which is scheduled to air on Tuesday, March 22.

A unique program offered to the community

“This (program) is unique in it’s effort…to see first hand what goes into the thought process of an officer when he has to use force,” Redding Police Sergeant Casey Bokavich said in a January 2015 interview with KRCR News Channel 7.

During that same interview, Reverend Ann Corrin of the community group Shasta County Citizens Advocating Respect discussed how impressed she was with the daily dangers officers face. “I was totally blown away. To see the incredible risk, even when there is nothing happening, the potential risk is amazing,”  Corrin said. “It really helped me to understand the type of emotional maturity that is necessary for the job and to be willing to give the officers the benefit of the doubt for going into tough, tough situations.”

Redding PD’s willingness to engage the public in such a way and to give them an opportunity to see, first hand, the split second decisions their officers have to make every time they go out on duty was recently featured in the California Police Chief Magazine cover article “Changing the Perception by Simulating Real Life.”

Anyone desiring more information about how you or an affiliated organization can take part in future force option training courses, is encouraged to contact Sergeant Casey Bokavich at (530) 225-4289.

 

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

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