A safety training simulator used by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office that lets users go through scenarios in which they might use a handgun or pepper spray is open to church safety teams. [CONTRIBUTED]

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office said they have enhanced their training abilities with a state-of-the-art simulator purchased earlier this year.

“Active shooter training has been taken to the next level here at the Washington County Sheriff’s Office thanks to a cutting-edge training simulator,” a news release said. “The MILO Range (Multiple Interactive Learning Objectives) is a virtual system that 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 force. A few 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 is extending an invitation to any church security teams who are interested in participating in this type of training. Contact Kristy Kolmetz by email at [email protected] or Joseph Green at [email protected] for more information or to schedule a session.

The  simulator demonstrates just how quickly deputies must make crucial, lifesaving decisions, according to Crews. 

“As law enforcement officers, we are placed in situations where we have to make split second decisions,” Crews said. “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 breakdown of what occurred during the training, such as where shots landed. 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, according to Crews.

“I am so thankful to be able to utilize MILO in our community,” Crews said. “We are able to share this interactive training system and train those who may not otherwise have the opportunity.”