New use-of-force training helping Senoia police officers hone their skills

Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 5:55 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - A new use-of-force training simulator at the Senoia Police Department is allowing officers to prepare for any situation.

Captain Jason Ercole, a 16-year veteran of the department and a certified training instructor says his fellow officers now can train for a variety of circumstances.

“It has improved our ability to respond to situations that our officers have probably never seen,” said Capt. Jason Ercole.

An example of that could be an active shooter at a school.

“It is happening, unfortunately. It may never happen in an officer’s jurisdiction, but if it does, at least they’ve seen that before and they know, or should know how to respond,” said Capt. Jason Ercole.

The simulator, which cost the department nearly $50,000 to purchase and install in a tiny, newly purchased out-building near their shooting range, also includes situations that don’t require use-of-force.

“Encourage the officers to use de-escalation, to interact with the suspects, to show some empathy. When they do that then I can hear the scenarios to have a more positive outcome,” said Capt. Jason Ercole.

Captain Ercole says they plan to open the simulator the public in the coming months.

Senoia is one of 65 agencies in Georgia that are equipped with a ‘use-of-force’ training simulator.