DEWITT, Mich. — Thursday morning, the sound of gunshots filled the air around Lansing Police Department's Mac J. Donnelly, Jr. Complex, but not real gunshots.
The DeWitt Township Police Department had Simunition—simulated ammunition—training.
The officers were put into scenarios and asked to respond accordingly.
"The performance aspect of this training is, even though we are using Sim guns, whether it be a blank or the Simunition where it shoots that waxy-like projective, the brain—even for a brief second—doesn't know that," Sgt. Earl Christensen said.
"It simulates the recoil, the bang of the firearm, but not as loud, obviously," Sgt. Andrew Wiswasser said.
After each officer runs the drill, they are evaluated.
"Say next week, these officers are in a similar situation. Just like a computer, if a computer's never done that, it takes a while to think," Sgt. Christensen said. "Well, these officers already been there and developed that file and they can say, 'Hey, I've already been there,' and they can pull that training file and be like, 'This is exactly what I need to do.'"
The training helps officers make safe, split-second decisions in the field.
"Sometimes we're put into impossible scenarios to win, and that's the reality of this job," Sgt. Wiswasser said.
This was the department's third training this year.
"Typically we hit the range doing this type of stuff, whether it be Simunitions, defensive tactics, live fire drills—four if not five times a year," Sgt. Christensen said.
Officers say it's extremely beneficial.
"Great experience," DeWitt Township Officer Brandon Shellberg said. "It gets your mind in the game a little bit as far as potential scenarios you could encounter out there on the road."
Shellberg said that's important, because the scenarios could be a matter of life or death.
"It's your life. Your life's on the line. Your life, and the public's life," Shellberg said.
Thursday's training started at 9 a.m. and didn't wrap until early evening.
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