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FBI tests shoot, don't shoot scenarios in simulator

Posted at 6:12 PM, Nov 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-08 19:12:17-05

A simulator helps FBI agents make better decisions on when they should and should not fire their guns.

Agents regularly go through the MILO Range simulator. Wednesday they gave a demonstration.

The life or death decisions the law enforcement face are not always easy to predict. The FBI shows a scenario in the simulator where a man has a gun on him but Special Agent in Charge Justin Tolomeo has to decide if he is a threat.

"Don't move sir. Don't move," Tolomeo shouted at the man on the screen. 

The suspect reacts, answering back to his commands, but continuing to draw the knife.

"Do not move, do not move," shouts Tolomeo and then he shoots.

In .8 seconds he fired five shots that killed the man with the knife.

"It's designed to assess their judgment in shoot, no shoot situations. And to give them experience to better prepare them," said Tolomeo.

According to the Department of Justice use of force police an officer is not expected to give up their lives to prove they are at risk.

"Is the officer in danger and are they taking reasonable action?" said Tolomeo.

Each case is talked about and broken down for an agent. The more times they do this, the better.

"The more experiences, albeit through the video screen we can imprint on them, the better they react," said Tolomeo.

And the best decision is made.

This is only one of multiple ways the FBI trains on use of force including doing real-life drills.