CBS46 Investigates: Shoot or don't shoot? Training facility lets - CBS46 News

CBS46 Investigates: Shoot or don't shoot? Training facility lets people become first responders

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)
(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)
FORSYTH COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

It's the split-second decision outsiders often criticize but rarely understand when it comes to an officer's use of deadly force.

We investigated a brand new training facility that puts regular citizens in the shoes of first responders to see what they would do. 

The facility is located in an inconspicuous shopping center at ground level, yet go 25 feet underground and there it is, a bulletproof room used by Forsyth County deputies to test their split-second reactions. 

"We can't use the benefit of 20/20 hindsight in order to judge what our officers do in the moment," said Sheriff's Officer Training Coordinator Sgt. David Marsh. 

In Georgia, violent altercations have prompted more than 55 police-involved shootings since January 2018. But rather than explain to Forsyth citizens why deadly force is needed, regular citizens like you and I train just like Forsyth deputies, in fast-paced virtual drills with real bullets and real guns. 

"You're trying to multitask, for a lot of these things it's not as simple as shoot, no shoot," said Training Corporal Josh Bell. 

Trainees and deputies are placed into one of over 400 different virtual scenarios testing their marksmanship and coordination, as well as racial and gender bias. In seconds, you must decide: shoot or don't shoot with no second chances like real life. 

"The system here can show where you hit, how you scored, what scenario you took place with," said Country Folks Superstore owner Chase Wales. 

When is it appropriate to have your gun out? When is it appropriate to point it at somebody? And that's where these training scenarios become invaluable because there's no right answer to any of those questions. 

The owners of the gun range here at Country Folks Superstore said this is the only live-fire simulator with video depictions of life-threatening emergencies in the state of Georgia. 

We also went in-depth to see when officers can legally use deadly force. Typically, if an officer has reason to believe or if they know a suspect has a deadly weapon, even if they are running away, deadly force can be used. 

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