Dodge County is preparing its law enforcement officers for the unexpected. The officers are responding to a mock situation just as they would in an actual emergency.
"It teaches them not only how to use lethal force, but it teaches them tactics," says Kevin Day, leader of the Dodge County SWAT team.
The training is called simmunition. Day says it's as close to the real thing as it gets and is more valuable than training on the firing range.
"You try to talk to the target, but the target doesn't listen. Out here in the scenario based training you get the response from the person you're talking to. It may be good or it may be bad, but it forces you to deal with that situation," he says.
This week's exercises involve a timely topic -- school violence. In one of the mock drills, Dodge County officers are told there's someone with a gun inside this make-shift school. It's up to them to call the shots and decide if gunfire is necessary.
"Any time you actually hear the popping sound it sends that adrenaline rush through you, and when the round hits you, you feel it. It's pain, it's not hurting pain, but it gives you the realistic effect of getting shot or getting hurt," says Deputy Brian Loos.
"They're exactly the same as the duty weapons our guys carry on the streets, only difference is these won't fire live rounds," say Day.
After each drill, the focus is on what went right and what went wrong.
"It's almost good sometimes that things go wrong and we learn from it," adds Loos.
The hope is it never happens, but if a school shooting takes place in Dodge County, officers say they're ready to respond.
"This is something that may not only save their lives, but someone else's," concludes Day.
Around 100 law enforcement personnel from Dodge County are going through the training this week. It's put on twice a year and paid for by the county.
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