Crime simulator helps West Columbia officers make split-second decisions

WCFD Deputy Fire Chief Marquis Solomon taking a turn on the simulator, Thursday.

There are cases in which police officers have to make split-second, life or death decisions.

There is a time to shoot for the safety of everyone involved, but sometimes restraint is the right move.
It’s not an easy scenario to practice, but Todd Williams can help. Williams is the Public Safety Loss Control Consultant for the Municipal Association of South Carolina.

He was at the West Columbia City Hall Thursday conducting walk-throughs on a law enforcement simulator. It allows officers, and other city personnel, to face realistic hostage, domestic violence and violent crime scenes. The kind law enforcement personnel faces daily.
Heather Ricard of MASC said Williams offers training on the simulator in municipalities throughout the state.

Todd Williams

“It helps in the decision-making process for police officers, Ricard said.
The better trained law enforcement officers are, the safer, and being more prepared lessens the risk for liability.
West Columbia Police Chief Dennis Tyndall said he welcomes the time on the simulator.
“It puts police officers in a real-life situation,” he said. “It’s not just practicing on targets.”
After a turn on the simulator, Williams critiques the officer’s performance.
“The training can save your life, or someone else’s,” said Tyndall.

Tyndall also said he’s appreciative that the MASC provides the simulator because of the $50,000 it would cost for the department to purchase a simulator.

Williams said in today’s culture the thought of litigation is on the officer’s mind. But staying alive is also important,
“Officers have to think about all of that,” said Williams.

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