Training System Arms Aberdeen Police
The Aberdeen, S.D., Police Department has begun training all of its sworn-in officers on a machine called FATS (Fire Arms Training System) in order to help them decide whether or not to use deadly force in real-world situations.
The technology, which is on loan from the local FBI office, uses a white screen and projector to convey any one of 17 different scenarios in which the officer must decide whether or not to use deadly force on a suspect. During the time a scenario is playing out, an officer stands behind a line with a modified gun that must be reloaded when enough rounds have been fired.
The system allows officers to go back and examine what they did wrong during each scenario. For example, an officer could go back and see how many of the shots he fired were hits and how many were misses. The officer could also see how many shots would be deadly and how many would have just wounded the suspect.
According to Aberdeen Police Department Capt. Dave McNeil, the greatest thing about the FATS technology is that it helps officers take some of the guesswork about whether or not to fire their guns in certain situations. “The last thing you want at a scene is surprise,” he said.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Aberdeen American News (SD) (04/23/06); Arthur, Emily .