Use of force trainer in Dubuque will help sharpen decision makin - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Use of force trainer in Dubuque will help sharpen decision making skills

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A brand new, immersive use of force trainer is now in place at Northeast Iowa Community College in Dubuque.

The simulator, which has five screens, was installed within the last couple of weeks, and law enforcement have already began training on it.

A number of local law enforcement and city officials were on hand to cut the ribbon on the new simulator Thursday afternoon.

"This gives them the opportunity to be in a situation that's totally immersed, where they're in the middle of the fight, so to speak, and not have to be involved in a real gun battle," said Sgt. David Boardman, training coordinator for the Dubuque County Sheriff's Office.

Boardman showed off a couple of training scenarios, including a school shooting scenario involving two shooters.

"All of these are actual scenarios that have happened," Boardman said.

All told, the system is equipped with 150 scenarios, and more, custom scenarios can be added.

The process to bring the simulator to Dubuque has been in the works for a number of years, championed by a number of local officials, including outgoing Sheriff Don Vrotsos.

"If I didn't think it was important to train our officers the best way we can, we wouldn't be here today," Vrotsos said.

The simulator, which came with the price tag of about $400,000, will be available for law enforcement agencies not only throughout Iowa, but to nearby Wisconsin and Illinois as well.

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