CORDELE, GA (WALB) - The Crisp County Sheriff's Office gave county leaders a chance Thursday to experience some of the tense situations law enforcers face. They went through simulated emergencies and had to make split second decisions that could mean the difference between life or death in a real emergency.
"Alright ma'am put the weapon down," said Crisp County Commissioner Sam Farrow.
He was one of several to use the new simulator Thursday.
"She may have reached back to get a cell phone. And say I've got your messages on text. And what do you do? How do you change?"
They were forced to calm tense situations that came up on screen.
"You have to be prepared that whenever you see her draw that weapon; you've got to make the decision as an officer. Is that man's life in danger? Am I in danger," said Sheriff Billy Hancock.
I even tried it as well, sent to a burglary, and I pulled the trigger after the burglar pointed her gun at me.
"You have to make a decision, split-second decision, on whether to use deadly force against somebody or not," said Training Officer Michael Fraser.
After one commissioner was killed and another participant failed to diffuse the situation, Sheriff Hancock showed them how to do it.
"It really makes me appreciate what our law enforcement do is what I'm saying," said County commissioner Larry Felton.
"I've always known they have to make a split second decision and just be real quick on their feet, but it just helps me visualize that," said Allan Sloan.
And that's the point of putting others behind the gun.
"The more we can get the information out, the better the public understands what officers are faced with," said Fraser.
Gene Pope is a former sheriff with nearly 40 years of experience in law enforcement, and he took part as well.
"It's great. It's great training. It's about as accurate as I've ever seen it," said Pope.
It's something Sheriff Hancock and his office are excited to have.
The simulator was purchased with grant money, private donations, and drug money at no cost to the taxpayers. It will also be used to train deputies without forcing them to use costly ammunition.