Police officers in the City of North Augusta will be getting intensive training over the next several weeks teaching them options for avoiding force in dangerous situations, according to a press release.

This “response to resistance training” will use an interactive simulator that imitates use-of-force and verbal de-escalation encounters through computerized scenarios. Courts have ruled that law enforcement officers must have “use of force” or “response to resistance” training.

The simulator uses more than 500 pre-loaded scenarios that project onto a life-sized screen allowing officers to respond with the appropriate levels of force. The scenarios are embedded with videos, policy statements and legal talking points to improve officers’ decision-making skills. Most of the scenarios can be customized for specific training objectives.

The training stresses response-to-resistance options and involves using voice commands as a way to de-escalate a potentially violent situation. Part of the training also focuses on the appropriate use of force that includes officer presence, batons, electronic control devices, pistols, rifles and chemical agents. The scenarios include examples of domestic violence encounters, traffic stops, emotionally disturbed individuals, high risk encounters and “no force required” community contacts.

This simulator training is provided by the SC Municipal Insurance and Risk Financing Fund (property and liability) and the SC Municipal Insurance Trust (workers’ compensation) self-insured programs.

Chief John Thomas with North Augusta Public Safety said: “This is a great opportunity for our officers.  Anytime we can get our hands on this type of advanced training we are going to take advantage of it.”

SCMIT and SCMIRF are two self-funded insurance programs offered to local governments through the Municipal Association of South Carolina. These programs provide members safety and risk management technical assistance, consultative services, and training resources.