Georgia Troopers receive special firearms training - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Georgia Troopers receive special firearms training

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  State Troopers from across South Georgia will be in Albany this week for firearms training. In this training, someone will actually be shooting back at them.

It's called the Georgia State Patrol Mobile Firearms Training Facility. A travel trailer with computer simulation equipment almost like a video game. It makes troopers make life or death decisions, and to make it as realistic as possible, it actually shoots back in the scenarios.

Georgia State Patrol Trooper Scot McClure approaches a car with a suspicious driver. The driver gets out shooting, and McClure shoots back.

This an example of the realistic training inside the Georgia State Patrol Firearm Facility. The scenarios on the computer screen challenge the Trooper's judgement on how much force to use and when. The training is controlled by a firearms instructor with him.

"It's more than standing out at the firing range shooting at targets. It's more interaction. Let's you use your voice commands," said Firearm Instructor Trooper First Class Jeromy Roberts.

The trooper's shots are scored on the screen for accuracy. The instructor also controls a air cannon that fires small white balls at the trooper during the exercise.

"They teach him how to take cover, and if you don't, you pay the consequences by getting hit with that small little ball. Which does hurt, but it doesn't hurt near as bad as a bullet would have," said State Trooper Cpl. Scot McClure.

Of course, the training also teaches the trooper when to shoot and not to shoot, so they are not trigger happy.

 "This is what we see on the side of the road, and produce the most realistic examples possible, so the trooper will be prepared for what they experience," Roberts said.

Part of the training, troopers run before they go through the training scenarios, to get their heart rate pumping fast, like it would be in an emergency. Making the training as life like as possible, in order to save lives.

All Troopers, capitol police, and motor carrier officers train on this Georgia State Patrol mobile facility. They also go through firearms practice at shooting ranges.

The GSP's mobile training facility did not cost taxpayers any money. It was paid for with seized drug money.

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