LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Police go through training every year to prepare for split-second decisions in the field. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department gave media members a taste of the challenge by inviting reporters to participate in use-of-force training scenarios.
The day started in the classroom learning about what training officers go through, the weapons they have, and when it’s deemed appropriate to use each weapon.
Soon after, reporters were put through fake scenarios that mimic real-life situations, called reality-based training. After a briefing, media members were given fake weapons including a baton, taser, gun, or bean bag shotgun. Several officers posed as a citizen or a suspect while another officer guided us through our options.
The training stressed the importance of communication and keeping a safe distance. Officers also detailed the warning signs of increasing violence.
In total, media members were run through three scenarios meant to simulate the mental and physical stress that officers experience. LVMPD says this type of training has been key in reducing officer-involved shootings.
“They're able to be stressed out and put into a situation that's in a static and controlled environment and allows us to sit right next to them and work them through the stress to help them realize they can solve that puzzle with all the tools and resources they have,” said Sgt. Adam Stubbs.
In 2020, LVMPD says it responded to more than 1.4 million calls for service including 19 police shootings involving 19 armed suspects. Officers reportedly used a "non-deadly use of force" in 940 incidents.
Police say every officer and supervisor in the LVMPD goes through reality-based training for about 25 to 30 hours a year. The department says it is a fraction of the continuing education it implements.