Shoot or don’t shoot? Wooster residents try police firearms training simulator

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WOOSTER, Ohio- It's a high-tech tool used to train for split-second decision.

The Wooster Police Department started using the firearms training simulator, or FATS system, this week.

"The simulation I just  went through, my heart is still racing,' said Ashley Brillheart, of Wooster.

People like Brillheart are getting the opportunity to put  themselves in the shoes of law enforcement this week during a Citizen's Police Academy.

"You have little information and you are trying to do the right thing.  Obviously. I thought the situation was being handled and I ended up being killed," Brillheart said.

While the FATS system may look and work like a video game, Chief Matthew Fisher said the scenarios are very real.

"Often times, what you see on TV, you get to hash it out, you can step back and look at it all.  Police officers don't get that. We are forced to make split-second decisions with imperfect information without the benefit of 20/20 hindsight.  That's what we do every day," Fisher said.

The use of deadly force by police has been topic of debate since the death of Tamir Rice and the deadly police chase in Cleveland, as well as events like Ferguson nationwide.

Chief Fisher said this allows his officers to train for the worst-case scenario when they have a so little time to make the decision.

"If I don't shoot, it may cost me my life.  If I do shoot, what are the ramifications of that?  What do you have to live with?  Those are decisions that officers across the United States have to make every day," Fisher said.