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Richmond teens have ‘eye opening’ lesson from police

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Posted at 5:13 PM, May 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-04 17:13:13-04

RICHMOND, Va. – Some local teens had an eye-opening lesson at the Richmond Police Department.

Multiple Integrated Learning Objectives is a “use of force” simulator that police use to train police officers. The exercise shows how and when officers should use force – and how quickly dangerous situations can emerge.

Last week Training Academy Captain Harvey Powers invited a group of teens to take part.

The group began by answering the question: “Do you think police use too much force?”

“It does seem like police use a lot of force.”

“I believe in certain situation police use too much force.”

“Yeah.”

“If a police officer shoots somebody that doesn’t have a gun on them, should the police officer be charged?” asked Cpt. Powers.

“I feel as if they do, because if they are unarmed, there are other things that you could do to incapacitate them.”

Then the teens used the simulator, where they got to be the police officers.

There are two times when police officers can use force; when their life is threatened and when the lives of others are threatened.

The guns the teens used shot a laserbeam at the screen and it registered where the person was shot.

Their comments before and then after the scenarios showed how fast perceptions – and understanding – can change.

“It was overwhelming but it taught us a good lesson.”

“It was very eye opening to see what can go down in 30 seconds.”