How Charlotte Police Upgraded High-Tech Training To Hone Decision-Making Skills


The Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers trained their guns on the woman as she sobbed, clutching a knife in her living room. Her husband lay stabbed on the ground outside. The Charlotte Observer says the incident played out on a video screen in a high-tech training exercise that allows officers to hone their decision-making and shooting skills. It also lets them make mistakes, without real-life consequences, so they can learn from them, firearms instructor Sgt. Cullen Wright said. “Every scenario an officer goes through, we can tie into something that can happen in Charlotte,” Wright said. An instructor who monitors the training can alter what happens in the videos based on the choices the officers make. Police invested in an $80,500 technology upgrade that makes the exercises more realistic. It uses Bluetooth sensors to connect the officers' “weapons” – handguns, stun guns and pepper spray that look and feel real – to a large video screen. Because there are no wires, the officers are free to use the weapons just as they would when responding to a live event.

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