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Sheriffs to get high-tech training

New technology will soon help would-be Alberta Sheriffs find out what they’re made of.

New technology will soon help would-be Alberta Sheriffs find out what they’re made of.

Recruits will soon start using two new simulators that will better prepare them for real-life experiences in the field.

Alberta Solicitor General Fred Lindsay hopped into the driver’s seat of an automobile simulator for reporters yesterday, to get a feel for what sheriffs experience when transporting prisoners.

The $150,000 machine has customizable variables for 400 diverse scenarios, including weather conditions, traffic, vehicle malfunctions and pedestrians.

Though Lindsay crashed three times in a five-minute demonstration, training sergeant Kevin Duchnycz said the simulator emulates real-life situations that sheriffs face daily.

“It doesn’t feel the same as a real vehicle, because there’s no motion, but it’s as real as it gets,” he said.

Trainees will also be aided by training on a use-of-force simulator, which tests reaction time under pressure in dangerous situations.

The device throws users into mock security, inmate transport and vehicle stops.
Users are shot at with a 68-calibre nylon ball to imitate hostile fire, and are armed with pepper spray, guns, or a baton.

“We can only create so much stress, because (recruits) know this isn’t real,” said curriculum developer Curtis Clarke.

“But when it’s coming at them so quickly, it becomes real.”

The nine-week training course completed by potential sheriffs at the Solicitor General Staff College will integrate the simulators into the curriculum in February.

 
 
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