Reporting Pat Loeb
By Pat Loeb
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Twice, last week, Philadelphia police, confronted with what’s called an “active shooter”, used their own weapons to gain control of the situation. With the proliferation of guns in the city, the police academy has expanded training for officers, just for these situations. KYW Newsradio‘s Pat Loeb recently got a behind-the-scenes look at the new lethal weapons training facility.
“What you’re seeing here is the simulation training.”
A class of recruits is gathered in a barn-like building at the Academy, big enough to recreate more than a dozen true-life scenarios where officers were confronted by armed suspects, some of which ended tragically with the officer’s death.
Instructors play the bad guys and recruits do the exercise in pairs, using paint-ball like guns.
It seldom goes smoothly, but that’s what instructors like Sgt. Sean Corbette expect.
“You didn’t have that quick plan in place before you exited the vehicle, but that’s okay. You learn from that mistake and one thing’s for certain: you walk out of these doors and that will never happen, okay?”
This kind of training is adrenalin-inducing but, recruit Tyrone Simmons says, welcome, “It’s a little nerve-wracking when you first go in but it’s preparing us for what we have to deal with when we get out on the street.”
Dontaya Trippett and Kyree Long made a routine car stop and before it was over, the suspect had fled with Trippett’s gun.
Luckily, it was just an exercise and the instructors who’d played the suspects were able to point out what the partners should do differently when they’re on the street.
“You need to remember, that weapon — if you are going to be on somebody — you need to bring that a little bit closer to your side; you can’t just hand it to the bad guy.”
Long says he got the message, “I’ll take that as a learning experience, so hopefully get better in the future.”
Instructors know they can’t prepare recruits for every scenario they’ll face, but firearms training commander, Capt. Marc Fisher, believes they do leave better able to handle the unexpected.
“You only learn by doing and this is where reality-based training starts.”