WPD proposes ‘use of force’ simulator to train officers in real life scenarios


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Police hope to bring in new state-of-the-art simulators to train officers for the dangers they face in real life.

WPD wants to purchase a “use of force” simulator, along with a driving simulator.

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Spokeswoman Linda Thompson says the simulator has screens that surround the trainee, putting officers in scenarios where they can interact and respond.

Thompson says there are hundreds of different scenarios on the simulator, prompting the officer to make choices like whether to shoot at a suspect.

“One is a training simulator that will give them real life scenarios like, ‘Shoot or don’t shoot,'” Thompson said. “Or what kind of force to use. Even how to de-escalate a situation. So it will really measures an officer’s flexibility. Their response time. Also, their techniques of being able to calm a situation.”

Thompson says the department also hopes to get the driving simulator.

She says WPD hopes to use these simulators at the new Haynes Lacewell training facility that is under construction.

Construction on the facility started last September. Thompson says the work is still on track to be finished in November.

Wilmington City Council will vote on the proposal for the “use of force” simulator Tuesday night.