Police officers train to make split-second decisions.
and that includes when to use deadly force.
A number of high-profile officer-involved shootings
around the country recently have put officers' actions
under the microscope..
Today News 8's Madalyn O'Neill got a taste of what
it's like to respond in the emergency situations police
face every day.
The Holmen police department invited us in to role
play in various scenarios where I played the police
officer responding to a call .
and it was up to me to decide whether or not to use
Holmen's police chief says his officers haven't had
to use that kind of force yet this year .
and he hopes it will never come to that.
But he wants his officers to be prepared for all kinds
of situations out in the field .
and have the knowledge and training to make the right
NAT: Begin scenario!
Police officers make traffic stops everyday.
They happen all the time.
But an everyday stop can go bad in a heartbeat.
Chief Shane Collins
As soon as you stepped out of the car he had a gun
in his hand.
why don't you get back in your car, I'm going to kill
You can see as I played the role of police officer
in this scenario- NAT: bad guy shoots me making decisions
in the heat of the moment isn't easy.
NAT: all right end scenario!
Holmen police officers go through hundreds of hours
of emergency response training.
Our biggest goal is to make sure these officers go
home at the end of their shift.
we want to make sure their actions are ethical legal,
but also effective.
So they can commit to memory a number of things when
deciding whether or not to shoot ...
We went through weapon, intent delivery system.
those are the three criteria we need to use deadly
We need to make sure that person's threat is imminent
and going to cause great bodily harm to us or someone
NAT: my conversation with training officer were you
justified in shooting? me: yes he says he's going
to kill me and a gun pointed at me.
and he had the way to do it, weapons delivery system
Like in my second scenario, often times police don't
know what they're walking into.
NAT: that's all the info you have.
looks like someone trying to break into a car.
NAT: begin scenario!
We're going through what-if scenarios every day.
every call we're going on we're thinking possibly
this could turn out bad,
Situations move quickly, so knowing when to use deadly
force has to be second nature.
And in that split second ...
NAT: drop the weapon.
it's a phone it's a phone.
It takes someone with a lot of training to be able
to make the right call.
Spears NAT: You didn't know if he was grabbing for
a phone or gun.
"You reached for your gun right away."
And that kind of quick-decision making was something
I couldn't learn in an hour.
Chuck: did she pass?
Collins: no hahahha
In Holmen, MO, N8
I didn't exactly pass all three drills .
and died twice before lunch time today.
But the drills did show me just how mentally prepared
officers have to be to make the right choice in any
kind of situation.
The Holmen police department is working to make sure
officers have their body cams recording for every
interaction with the public.
They say it adds both transparency and accountability.