WEST MONROE, LA (KTVE/KARD)– Only on NBC 10, Today Monroe City officials and community members got a first-hand look at the danger and split decisions officers have to make by participating in a Shooting Simulator. While this scenario is on a screen today, tomorrow it could be a reality for our local police officers.

“It really gives you another perspective on what law enforcement goes through and what they have to do to keep our community safe on a regular basis,” said Vance Price, Pastor at New Saint James Baptist Church.

This shooting simulator, at North Delta Police Academy, usually trains officers before they head into the field. This time, it was used so community members could see what a day in an officer’s life could look like and how they make split-second decisions.

“The public needs to see just how quickly these things develop, the way it affects your mind and your motor skills. It is important that they see that these officers are highly trained and very effective at what they do. They are going to take every opportunity they can not use that weapon,” said Marc Mashaw, Chief Deputy OPSO.

Many are calling this an eye-opening experience, actually being in their shoes, finding out their procedures, and sometimes choosing the only option available.

“As someone was coming at me, without any type of weapon, but I had to engage as the offer would. At that moment I realized my life was literally on the line if this had been an actual situation and there was nobody I could call,” said Price.

Some say building a relationship between officers and communities has been difficult over the past year.

“In the world, we are living in now, there is a lot of criticism. A lot of judgment happens so we don’t always know the process of how things happen. That what this simulator taught us today. Don’t just go in shooting, but we went in and engaged, deescalated it, and then they had to respond as the situation unfolded,” said Price.

Police officials say those who come through the academy spend hours of training on the shooting simulator. Those who experienced it today are thankful for the technology and that those future officers will be prepared.