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GPD has a new weapon for training, the FireArm Training Simulator

By Garrett Mitchell, Staff Reporter
Published on Thursday, September 17, 2015

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Clay Anderson, the GPD's field training officer, demonstrated the FireArm Training Simulator (F.A.T.S.).
 

Garrett Mitchell

Clay Anderson, the GPD's field training officer, demonstrated the FireArm Training Simulator (F.A.T.S.).

 



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Sgt. Chris Forrester said officers must be mindful of the many scenarios that a traffic stop can take.
 

Garrett Mitchell

Sgt. Chris Forrester said officers must be mindful of the many scenarios that a traffic stop can take.

 



Enlarge photo

The FireArm Training Simulator, or F.A.T.S, 
 
 

Garrett Mitchell

The FireArm Training Simulator, or F.A.T.S, 

 

 

The Greer Police Department unveiled a new training tool on Wednesday.

The department acquired the FireArm Training Simulator, or F.A.T.S., and it allows officers to work through real-life scenarios that they could face on the streets.

Improving judgment and reaction time, said Greer Police Chief Dan Reynolds, is a crucial element in ensuring that no lives are lost when an officer encounters a potential threat.

"When it comes to these situations in real life, (officers) will be able to make a more accurate decision on the street," he said.

The F.A.T.S. system was purchased for $75,000 from Meggitt Training Systems in Georgia. The money came from condemned funds gathered from the breakup of an illegal gambling ring eight years ago, according to Reynolds.

The simulator has 500 downloaded scenarios encompassing many of the daily threats facing police officers.

"It gives you a guideline on how to react," said Field Training Officer Clay Anderson before demonstrating the F.A.T.S.. "It can make three or four seconds difference, even half a second's difference, when you're talking about someone squeezing off between zero shots at you and four shots at you in two or three seconds."

"It's an environment of fear right now, especially for us, because we want to go home at night,” Anderson said. “We want to treat everybody as best we can so everyone goes home safe at night."

Anderson used the simulator to demonstrate several scenarios.

One scenario had Anderson confronting an emotionally disturbed woman wielding a knife before convincing the subject to surrender. In another, Anderson was forced to fire upon a drunken motorist who brandished a pistol during a traffic stop.

"It's not that we want (the traffic stop) to end that way, but we have to be mindful that this could be one of our officers on any given day," Forrester said.

Among its other features, the F.A.T.S. simulator can function with less-than-lethal weapons such as a nightstick or taser. Officers can create their own scenario and load it into the F.A.T.S. program.

The GPD also plans to make the simulator available to officers from other departments across the area, and hope the real-life training opportunities it provides will be a benefit, both to officers and the citizens they safeguard.

"(F.A.T.S.). mimics real life very well, but it's not perfect," Anderson said. "But as far as scenarios I've seen out in the field, and in my experience as an officer, it does very well.

"Hopefully it can head off some of the negative scenarios we've all seen lately in the news,” he said.

 

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