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October 2019 Law Enforcement Newsletter

///October 2019 Law Enforcement Newsletter
October 2019 Law Enforcement Newsletter 2019-12-17T17:58:56+00:00

SIMULATION TRAINING, GUN RANGE DESIGN, EQUIPMENT AND INSTALLATION NEWSLETTER – OCTOBER 2019

MAIN STORY

Meggitt’s simulation scenarios help officers have successful interactions with suspects with mental illness

It is one of a law officer’s worst nightmares. You answer a call for a suspect with atypical behavior. Within a few minutes the individual is running at you. You command the person to stop, but they don’t. You command again. But instead of halting, the suspect comes with a few feet of you. Threatened, you seem to have no other choice but to fire. Only later do you discover the history of mental illness and the fact that the person was unarmed.

How should officers interact with people with mental illness or developmental disabilities? According to a December 2015 study by the Treatment Advocacy Center, individuals with untreated mental illness are 16 times more likely to be killed during a police encounter than other civilians approached or stopped by law enforcement. Numbering fewer than 1 in 50 U.S. adults, individuals with untreated severe mental illness are involved in at least 1 in 4 and as many as half of all fatal police shootings.1

Meggitt Training Systems is bringing its simulation resources to bear on this difficult issue in three ways:

  • Scenarios geared to interactions with a person in crisis (PIC). Agencies have already been using PIC scenarios, based on legal conclusions, for encounters with a person in crisis (PIC). We are presently adding to our library of scenarios with new cases. As with all Meggitt’s scenarios, branching, based on decisions, leads to different outcomes.
  • Realistic simulation system and weapons. Our five-screen, 300-degree FATS® 300LE advanced simulation system with BlueFire® wireless weapons provides the immersive realism necessary for optimal training. Five screens focus the trainee on the situation, so that they experience the full gravity of their judgment calls. The BlueFire® weaponry closely approximate in form, fit and function the officer’s weapons. Meanwhile, all actions are recorded so that the trainer can go over each lesson a complete learning opportunity. This summer, the Georgia Public Safety Training Center (GPSTC) selected this system for statewide training.
  • Learning from mental health professionals. To make sure that our scenarios answer community healthcare as well as law enforcement needs, we are listening to Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) experts, who explain how to distinguish usual from atypical behavior along with appropriate actions. Increasingly, law enforcement officers are receiving CIT training, which also helps them understand the suspect’s experience.
  • 1 See https://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/press-releases/3751

The IACP “One Mind” Program

Meggitt’s initiative in this area can complement the new campaign from the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). The campaign, entitled One Mind, focuses on helping police better respond to persons affected by mental illness or developmental challenges.

The initiative recognizes that collaboration is essential, bringing together diverse expertise. It thus focuses on uniting local communities, public safety organizations, and mental health organizations so that the three become “of one mind.” To join the campaign, law enforcement agencies must pledge to implement four promising practices over a 12- to 36-month time frame:

  • Establish a clearly defined and sustainable partnership with one or more community mental health organization(s)
  • Develop and implement a model policy addressing police response to persons affected by mental illness
  • Train and certify 100 percent of your agency’s sworn officers (and selected non-sworn staff, such as dispatchers) in Mental Health First Aid or other equivalent mental health awareness program
  • Provide Crisis Intervention Team training to a minimum of 20 percent of your agency’s sworn officers (and selected non-sworn staff, such as dispatchers)

Thus far, some 500 agencies have made the pledge, while five have completed the steps.

The following principles are some highlights from IACP’s policy paper, which is a tool in the One Mind program. Meggitt’s scenarios take these points into account:

  • Officers must understand behaviors rather than diagnoses. There are many reasons why PICs may not respond to commands. They may have a mental illness like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. They may have a severe intellectual disability or be on the autistic spectrum. They may have a substance use disorder. In any case, officers are not expected to diagnose mental or emotional conditions, but rather to recognize behaviors that are potentially indicative of a PIC, with special emphasis on those that suggest potential violence or danger. While most PICs are not violent, some may present dangerous behavior when triggered by certain circumstances or conditions. Officers may use several indicators to assess whether a PIC represents potential danger to themselves, the officer or others. These include the availability of any weapons, threats of harm to self, personal history, etc.
  • Officers must be ready for a fast-changing use-of-force scenario. All use-of-force scenarios carry a sense of not knowing what happens next. But a PIC can take this flow of events to an extreme: rapidly changing their presentation from calm and command-responsive to physically active and non-compliant. This change in behavior may come from an external trigger, such as an officer stating, “I have to handcuff you now”, or from internal stimuli (delusions or hallucinations). A variation in the person’s physical presentation does not necessarily mean they will become violent or threatening, but officers should always be prepared for a rapid change in behavior. That is why Meggitt scenarios provide an unpredictable flow of events.
  • Officers must try to understand the entire context of the situation. Context is crucial in the accurate assessment of behavior. Officers should take into account the totality of circumstances requiring their presence and overall need for intervention. If the officer determines that an individual is experiencing a mental health crisis and is a potential threat to themselves, the officer, or others, law enforcement intervention may be required, as prescribed by statute. All necessary measures should be employed to resolve any conflict safely using the appropriate intervention to resolve the issue, e.g. requesting a back-up officer and mental health professionals like a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT).
  • De-escalation is the important first step. The officer should take steps to calm the situation. Where possible, eliminate emergency lights and sirens, disperse crowds, lower radio volume, and assume a quiet nonthreatening manner when approaching or conversing with the individual. Where violence or destructive acts have not occurred, avoid physical contact, and take time to assess the situation. Officers should operate with the understanding that time is an ally and there is no need to rush or force the situation.
  • Officers must be able to recognize the challenge to normal procedures dictate by “excited delirium.” Excited delirium subjects are known to be irrational, often violent and relatively impervious to pain. Unfortunately, almost everything taught about control of subjects relies on a suspect to be rational, appropriate, or to comply with painful stimuli. Tools and tactics available to law enforcement officers (such as pepper spray, impact batons, joint lock maneuvers, punches and kicks, and Tasers) that are traditionally effective in controlling resisting subjects are likely to be less effective on excited delirium subjects. When methods such as pain compliance maneuvers or tools of force fail, the LEO is left with few options. That is where collaboration is essential.

The Meggitt Solution: Realistic training for complex situations

It is valuable for officers to know they have options. Interventions can result in hospitalizations rather than arrests, treatment rather than force. By participating in simulation scenarios, officers can get a feel for the possibilities while protecting themselves.

Towards that end, the Meggitt FATS 300LE provides the most realistic and immersive training environment, response driven “PIC” scenarios and feedback capabilities of any system available.

To immerse the trainee, the simulator projects high-definition imagery on all five screens. The trainee then gets exposed to the myriad of challenges encountered with a PIC. This session provides a genuine immersive experience that highlights realistic conflict situations and awareness, while BlueFire weapons match the form, function and feel of equipment officers are likely to use.

The five borderless 150”x 84” screens are arranged in a hexagonal format, with 5.1 audio, plus sounds in any direction added by the operator for increased realism. The system also has ultra-short-throw projectors that allow the trainee unprecedented freedom of movement within the training area, all while maintaining a smaller footprint than rear-projection systems. The system uses the same high-fidelity ballistic engine validated by the U.S. Army and other military customers.

Dimensions of the challenge: Matching knowledge with wise action

Last year, an article in The Hill by a Massachusetts Police Chief William G. Brooks III, entitled “Police Need More Mental Health Training,” pointed out two daunting dimensions of the challenge: Approximately 10 percent of police calls involve a person with mental illness, making police the nation’s de facto first responders to mental health crises. More than 42 million American adults are affected by mental illnesses every year. Of those, two million will be jailed. The conclusion: People experiencing a mental health crisis are more likely to encounter police than medical professionals. Change is obviously essential.

Such programs as IACP’s One Mind and Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety (https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/population-focused-modules/public-safety) are key programs for building awareness and encouraging correct actions. They are the pre-requisite for acting in a safe, compassionate manner.

Meggitt matches these forward-looking initiatives with the realistic, immersive training that give officers the chance to respond to PIC situations before they encounter them…a clear benefit to both parties. For more information or to arrange a demonstration of our mental health scenarios, please contact us.

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT

Target retrieval options to support your shooting range training objectives

From basic law enforcement firearms qualifications courses to tactical training scenarios, it’s necessary to have reliable target systems in your gun range. Whether outfitting indoor ranges or large outdoor complexes, the diversity of your target retrieval systems ensures your live fire training requirements will be met. Meggitt Training Systems offers a host of target systems, including:

Pop-up turning targets

These targets are available with hit sensing and add a new element to tactical scenarios; their unique ability to expose from multiple angles with a friend or foe target. Available in either hardwire or battery powered versions for great flexibility in range design and usage, the system is electromechanical and does not use compressed air. The units are lightweight and portable, so they can be easily transported or stacked for deployment or storage. It performs all of the standard target commands such as expose, conceal, hit-fall, hit-hold, and hit-bob. The target actuator is also available with a double or triple target arm to present multiple targets simultaneously. Each target holder has an embedded impact hit sensor that responds to a range of munitions.

Tandem turning targets

Operating on a single drive unit, these targets expose and conceal precisely in-unison and are set up in banks of targets. They present a 90 degree edge/face with a timing function through a single drive motor. Depending on which version is used, each motor will operate either up to 10 targets or 24 targets. The timer box controller is hard wired and includes a remote control device for easy operation anywhere on the range.

Electro-mechanical and pneumatic pop-up and turning target systems

An essential part in tactical training, each pneumatic target actuator can turn independently, or any number of target actuators can be linked together and controlled in unison or sequentially. The targets can be ground mounted or mounted overhead, and operate from a simple laptop controller and remote device. The controller can store programs for future use or modifications.

Turning targets

These hit sensing targets can rotate up to 360 degrees, providing a realistic environment for specialized training. They are precise, dynamic and respond quickly to commands to expose, conceal, slice, and turn in any combination. The 360 degree, turning target system provides a unique ability to expose from multiple angles with a friend or foe target. It can respond to shooter actions or a pre-programmed scenario, ensuring that the trainees do not anticipate target actions, providing a realistic environment for specialized training. Equipped with a highly accurate hit sensor that detects, responds to and reports hits, Turning Targets are suitable for any scenario.

Running man targets

Available in single or dual moving range targets, the Running Man is designed for both permanent and portable applications. The hand-held range control unit operates on 120-volt AC power, allowing the operator to control target speed, direction, and start/stop functions. Target speed can be set from 0 to 100% and direction of travel can be changed at any time, whether the target is in motion or stationary. Along with variable target speed control, the Running Man offers dynamic braking with a 30’ i-beam track included, with extension up to 100 feet. With single or dual target systems available, it can also be ground-mounted, wall-mounted or suspended from the ceiling for easy installation.

DID YOU KNOW

  1. A 5.56mm or .223 round will completely de-energize (come to a complete stop) at a depth of only 2 feet when fired into a granular rubber trap, and will emerge perfectly intact.
  2. The FATS® 100LE system does not need to be recalibrated if it’s jostled or bumped. It’s a self-contained system with the hit detection camera mounted with the projector, so even if there’s a large bump, it doesn’t alter the calibration. The system automatically calibrates during each boot up sequence. The FATS® 100LE calibration takes less than 30 seconds and can be done at any time by pressing the calibration button. No instructor input is required.

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FAQ

Q. As a range instructor, I need a virtual weapon that allows students to train on malfunction “jams” and reloading drills. Is this available with Meggitt Training Systems?

A. Yes. Prior to beginning a training session, students must properly load their Meggitt wireless BlueFire® weapon. This requires the student to clear the weapon, insert the magazine, and then rack the slide. Meggitt’s patented BlueFire weapons allow you to program or initiate jams on the fly in both marksmanship and judgmental training modes. When the jam is initiated, the student must “tap and rack” the weapon to place it back into ready condition. This real-world conditioning provides seamless weapons handling skills, helping students react effectively when engaging in live, hostile situations.

Q. What are the top three key components in range design and development which must be properly planned from the beginning?

A. The most important components in range design are:

  • Ventilation – Due to exact laminar air flow requirements for the health of shooters and the drastic costs associated with reworking a poor design.
  • Dynamic vs. Static Firing Lines – Due to the damage of equipment and safety hazards which are posed if incorrectly designed from the beginning, and the drastic cost of correcting an improper design.
  • Bullet Trap – Due to the many types of ammunition and arms used within a range, safety and replacement cost issues may arise with an improper trap selection.

To learn more about proper range design and development, download our Indoor Range Design Guide.

MEGGITT IN THE NEWS

A Closer Look into Active Shooter Training       Learn more

NC County Invests in Active Shooter Training Technology      Learn more

Wake Tech Uses Meggitt Training Systems      Learn more

Meggitt Training Systems wins additional $15.8 million in US Army targeting equipment orders      Learn more

Building a gun range?

INDOOR RANGE DESIGN GUIDE

TRADE SHOWS

AUSA 2019
October 14 - 16

Walter E. Washington Convention Center

Washington, DC
Booth #6943
Schedule a meeting with us here!

TCOLEC 2019
October 21 - 22

American Bank Center

Corpus Christi, TX
Booth #64
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IACP 2019
October 26 - 29

McCormick Place West

Chicago, IL
Booth #1030
Schedule a meeting with us here!

I/ITSEC 2019
December 2 - 5

Orange County Convention Center

Orlando, FL
Booth #1421
Schedule a meeting with us here!

SHOT SHOW 2020
January 21 - 24

Sands Convention Center

Las Vegas, NV
Booth #12267
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British Shooting Show 2020
February 14 - 16

Birmingham, UK

Schedule a meeting with us here!

AACOP Winter 2020
February 17 - 20

Montgomery, AL

Schedule a meeting with us here!

This newsletter covers just a few of the ways that Meggitt’s virtual and live-fire products are improving training for defense forces, law enforcement agencies and commercial gun ranges around the world. In upcoming newsletters, we’ll introduce you to new technologies and products. For more information, contact MGTTS-LESales@meggitt.com.

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