GAFFNEY, S.C. (WSPA) – The Gaffney Police Department is going through extensive training, and training others in the community.
The Gaffney Police Department has a brand-new tool that gives them any situation they could encounter out in the real world. Those going through this training said it’s tools like these that help them save lives.
“This is a vital tool that every police department should have,” said Chief Gerald Knight.
Officers have been going through different simulation trainings all week.
“It’s kind of stressful, it gives you a different outlook on how things actually occur and the split-second decision that you actually have to make,” said Matthew Cromer.
From new recruits to seasoned officers, they go through some of the 1,000 different scenarios.
“It’s a huge advantage to be able to make those mistakes in training versus in real life,” said Cromer.
“I think training like this is very important, because we only get one chance in a scenario like this,” said Lieutenant Shane Patterson.
Patterson has been behind the badge for 7 years, he said he is still learning things every day.
“A lot of it is spot on, especially with the domestic violence situations, things like that, the school scenarios,” he said.
Matthew Cromer is in training and said in the simulation you have time to reflect on what you did right or wrong.
“You only get one time to make that split second decision, in real life, and it could change your life as an officer, the victim’s life or the defendant’s life,” said Cromer.
Knight said dispatch went through the simulations on Wednesday.
“So, when they hear the officers scream on the radio or asking for help, saying I’m with someone who’s armed, with a gun, they now understand what that officer’s going through,” said Knight.
He said an officer’s biggest tool is their ability to communicate.
“This makes us a safer city, it cuts down on liability because our officers are getting that real time training, and it’s actually saving lives,” he said.
Knight said he invited all of Gaffney City Council to go through the training, so they can see what officers go through every day.
The equipment is currently being loaned to the department, and Knight said he is asking council for funds so they can get their own, this year or next.