Officers with the Urbana Police Division underwent simulated training exercises last week from the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy (OPOTA).
Urbana Police officers as well as officers from other Champaign County Law Enforcement agencies had the opportunity to train using a Judgmental Driving simulator and Judgmental Firearms simulator.
According to the Ohio Attorney General’s website, OPOTA’s mobile academy takes training scenarios to local law enforcement with some courses available to local agencies at no cost.
Urbana Police Chief Matt Lingrell stated off-site training generally costs a minimum of $100 per day per officer. Adding to this potential dilemma, Lingrell noted officers might not be able to work their regular work day on training days, which can affect training and overtime costs.
He said having the mobile academy locally helped save the division money.
“In this instance, the training was covered generally in a two-hour period for each officer, so roughly speaking, we paid in the area of only $425 to get everyone through the training, an obvious tremendous savings to the division,” Lingrell said.
In the driving simulator, officers were tested in improving their decision making during traffic stops, pursuits, emergency responses and vehicle handling.
In the firearms simulator, officers were tested in improving upon engagement in critical decision making involving the use of force. Lingrell said an important component of this training is to have officers work on de-escalation techniques to hopefully minimize the need for the use of force.
“I’m very appreciative of to the Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy that they work with Ohio law enforcement agencies to make this valuable training available on-site here at the Urbana Police Division,” Lingrell said. “It gives our officers simulated but real life training whereby they must respond to incidents, react to various actions by folks depicted in each scenario, and be able to articulate why they took the actions they took to bring each scenario to the safest and quickest end.
“I spoke with many of my officers regarding their training, and found each of them to be very appreciative of this training. They especially felt that the feedback they received from the OPOTA instructors was very valuable and helped them to see the various alternative options that are available in the different training segments that will hopefully help keep the officer, the suspect and the public safer during dangerous incidents, because of the implementation of the very best tactics.”