By Shaun Boyd
DENVER (CBS4) – The Colorado Legislature sets many law enforcement training policies and in its upcoming session they are once again expected to take up police reform.
For that reason, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman thought it would be important for lawmakers to take a virtual walk in the shoes of a peace officer.
The police training simluator she brought to the capitol on Thursday featured a series of videos shown on a big screen. The lawmakers were given a fake gun and presented with visual mock situations including an active shooter at a school and an armed robbery at a warehouse.
The simulations were intended to help the lawmakers understand how the laws they pass impact the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to protect everyone.
“It gives us firsthand knowledge of just a fraction of what they go through on a daily basis,” said Rep. Don Coram.
Coram and Sen. Kent Lambert both took part in the training and said it’s not only important when considering police reform, but also when setting public safety priorities.
“We’re going a lot more towards funding of body cameras, which also protects our officers and citizens,” Lambert said.
Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, whose office oversees the Colorado Peace Officer Standards and Training Board, brought the simulator to the state capitol.
“I thought it would be a great opportunity for our legislators who are making policy about training and law enforcement to actually have an opportunity to experience what it is like to make these judgement calls,” Coffman said. “We need to see all sides of the issue and this gives a lawmaker the opportunity to see things through the eyes of a law enforcement official.”
The state has funded nine similators like the one used on Thursday and many local police departments have purchased their own. There are hundreds of scenarios on them, including some that are tailored to specific locations in the state.