HANCEVILLE, ALA. – Deputies from the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office have been training at Wallace State this week, taking advantage of the TI Firearms Training Simulator located on campus.
From potential dangerous scenes ranging from shootings at a school hallway to a movie theater, deputies have been thoroughly practicing how to handle certain real-life situations.
“We do a lot of training and we are starting to do this more and more. It’s a great tool and it really makes us think about how we would respond to a situation,” said Sergeant Daniel Cummings, who has been with the department for nearly 13 years. “This is imperative because you want to do your best to have the right thought process in these situations.”
The Firearms Training Simulator belongs to Wallace State’s Criminal Justice/Criminalistics/Law Enforcement Department as a tool to better aid its students throughout the program’s classes. The simulator is located at Wallace State’s Advanced Visualization Center (AVC).
Wallace State students enrolled in Criminal Justice have the simulator incorporated into their classes each semester and it is heavily utilized during a Police Patrol course.
“It’s such a valuable tool for our students. It was originally brought here to train our students for real life situations, and we also wanted to incorporate the local police departments and community, so they could benefit from it. Through the simulator, our students can understand the split second decisions that officers have to make. We put the students in situations and see how they respond,” said Thea Hall, Wallace State’s Criminal Justice Department Chair.
Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry is grateful his officers are able to utilize the firearms training on a consistent basis.
“This simulator is an invaluable resource and something we haven’t had in our community. In the past you might be able to run into a training like this once every five years or send someone to another state for a month. This offers us the ability to train every quarter and for us to even run our citizen’s academy through here and show them the scenarios we face in law enforcement,” Gentry said. “I can’t thank Wallace State and Dr. (Vicki) Karolewics enough for allowing us to come here. It makes our law enforcement better here in Cullman County.”
Rob Cook is a Deputy Sheriff and School Resource Officer for the county and also finds the training beneficial.
“The scenarios are realistic and things we could face each and every day. No two calls are the same,” Cook said. “It’s not just scenarios that take place in big cities. It’s scenes that can take place in a small town.”
Wallace State Police Officer Brandi Parker has aided the Sheriff’s Department this week with the simulator’s video scenarios and also assists with Wallace State students as they become familiar with the program.
Besides the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office, Parker said the Hanceville Police Department, Cullman County Animal Control and the state’s special response team have practiced by using the simulator.
Added Hall: “We want as many departments as possible to use the simulator. We know this benefits our students and community. You can never have enough training in this area. It makes the law enforcement better prepared.”
For more information on Wallace State’s Criminal Justice/Criminalistics/Law Enforcement program, contact Hall at 256.352.8279 or visit http://www.wallacestate.edu/programs/academic-division/criminal-justicecriminalisticslaw-enforcement
For more information about Wallace State, visit www.wallacestate.edu.
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