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WCSO uses interactive simulator for training

WASHINGTON COUNTY – Active shooter training has been taken to the next level at the Washington County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO), thanks to a cutting-edge training simulator on loan from Florida Sheriff’s Association (FSA). 

Dubbed “MILO” after its manufacturer, the virtual system is considered the cutting edge in firearm simulation training, containing more than 200 unique tactical scenarios.

Infrared sensors allow deputies to use a replica handgun, pepper spray, and flashlight in any of the scenarios that may call for them both lethal and non-lethal use of forceA number of scenarios deal with active shooters in such settings as schools, government buildings, and churches, while other scenarios map out other possible real-life dangerous encounters.

Sheriff Kevin Crews says the simulator demonstrates just how quickly deputies must make crucial, life saving decisions.

“As law enforcement officers, we are placed in situations where we have to make split second decisions,” said Crews. “Our hopes are that this will help the public see how quickly things can change and how quickly we have to react.”  

The system gives a debriefing after each training module that offers a break down of what occurred during the training, such as where shots landed. Crews says these debriefings are a valuable tool in helping to improve reaction times and target accuracy and allowing the trainee to correct any mistakes they may have made.  

WCSO will offer the highly interactive training to the school district, Chipley Police Department, local churches, and local government officials. Chipley Police Chief Scott Thompson agrees the training could prove invaluable.

“This is a wonderful tool that will help prepare law enforcement for possible events where they may have to respond in a split second,” said Thompson.

Sheriff Crews expressed his appreciation to the FSA for making the training available to Washington County.

“I am so thankful to the FSA for allowing us the opportunity to utilize MILO,” said Crews. “We are able to share this interactive training system and train those who may not otherwise have the opportunity.”

Valued at $60,000, the simulator is on loan to WCSO for two weeks, with Sheriff Kevin Crews stating he is making the most of the time he has. 

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