From the Desk of Detective Dave

Knowledge is power! Detective Dave Baumhover keeps the community up to date on criminal activity so they can help prevent it, along with other topics of community interest.

Training for the Tough Moments
By Det. Dave Baumhover #975
Frederick Police Department

Recently, Commander Norris successfully secured a Colorado P.O.S.T. grant allowing the Frederick Police Department to purchase a Milo Range training simulator. This equipment is designed to place our officers in realistic virtual scenarios causing them to make split second use of force decisions. The Milo system is capable of subjecting the trainee to hundreds of life-sized scenarios and firearm drills allowing us to train more often at a low cost.  The system is interactive and a scenario may change based on your reaction to the situation you’re presented. This alone makes the Milo more realistic than the older “shoot, don’t shoot” simulators we’ve used in the past. One advantage of this is that it allows for use of force de-escalation, causing the trainee to transition from a lethal weapon (firearm) to a Taser or other less-lethal projectile weapons. 

For example, I was subjected to a scenario that involved a man who appeared to be under the influence of alcohol, drugs or both. He was stumbling through a parking lot bouncing off cars when I first encountered him and began speaking to him. Upon seeing me he became agitated, reached into his front pocket and started moving toward me. After ignoring my requests to stop and take his hand out of his pocket, I drew my firearm (simulator) and commanded he stop and take his hand out his pocket. Just then, he quickly took his hand out  of his pocket but continued to walk toward me. At that point I could see he had a syringe in his hand and made the decision to transition to a less lethal weapon, should I have needed it. As I holstered my firearm and drew my Taser, the man continued toward me and ignoring commands to stop. Ultimately, I deployed my Taser causing him to fall to the ground which ended the scenario. Upon completion of each scenario the trainee discusses with an instructor what he / she observed, felt, and their reasons for the amount of force used to gain control of a person or protect a life. Quite often, no physical force is needed and situations are handled using “verbal judo,” which is our preferred method.