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MSCTC unveils simulator

A new simulator will give area criminal justice students and police officers hands-on firearm training in stressful situations. The Moorhead and Fergus Falls campuses of Minnesota State Community and Technical College unveiled Wednesday a Firearm...

Melanie Cole

A new simulator will give area criminal justice students and police officers hands-on firearm training in stressful situations.

The Moorhead and Fergus Falls campuses of Minnesota State Community and Technical College unveiled Wednesday a Firearms Training System that will enhance students' decision-making skills.

The campuses teamed up with Moorhead and Fergus Falls police and sheriff's departments in Clay and Otter Tail counties to purchase the $75,000 equipment.

The simulator puts participants in realistic situations that require them to use firearms. Participants use a simulated gun that looks and feels like the real thing.

A large screen shows different scenarios, such as a traffic stop in which the driver pulls out a gun.

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Another scenario has the participant search a house for an escapee who jumps out from behind boxes and begins firing.

A replay shows the participants how they did.

Moorhead Police Chief David Ebinger said the simulation forces participants to learn to make the right decision under stress.

The simulator will rotate between the Moorhead and Fergus Falls campuses every six months. Law enforcement will have 24/7 access to it for training.

Jerry Migler, provost of the MSCTC Moorhead campus, said individually, the college and the law enforcement agencies would not have been able to afford it.

Dave Andersen, coordinator of MSCTC's criminal justice program, said students had been asking for more hands-on training.

The Moorhead campus has about 100 criminal justice majors and the Fergus Falls campus has 40 to 50.

Fergus Falls Police Chief Tim Brennan said the simulator gives officers the ability to practice scenarios they will be faced with.

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"It should make them more effective on the street," Brennan said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590 MSCTC unveils simulator Amy Dalrymple 20071129

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