Law enforcement officers going through firearms training

Published 9:20 am Wednesday, September 2, 2020

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Area law enforcement officers are going through the Firearms Training System (FATS) this week at the Atmore Police Department.

FATS is a tool used to develop, design and sharpen a police officer’s discretionary skills as well as reinforce conflict resolution abilities.

With FATS, police officers experience different scenarios, including traffic stops, school conflicts and others involving responding to various scenes.

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Chief Chuck Brooks said Monday that this is extra training for the officers.

“When an officer pulls a car over, there’s no such thing as a routine stop,” Brooks said. “Officers have to be familiar with their surroundings and what’s going on. The care could have tinted windows and he doesn’t know how many people are in the car.

“This just gives the officer a different type of scenario training to help with the job,” he said.

Through FATS, officers are armed with a gun, programmed in with the system. A video screen plays out each scenario. Officers give verbal commands, which the system hears during the scenario.

Brooks said the aim for FATS, which is offered through the Alabama Municipal Insurance Co., is to give his officers as much training as possible so they can keep the town safe, adding that many residents run stop signs, red lights and speed all the time. The insurance company also provides skid car training for officers, he said.

“I’m just trying to give the perspective of how the officer feels, too,” he said.

Brooks said he is inviting members of the community to come in and experience the training as well.

“That’s something we’re trying to do to educate our officers, and inform our officers to make better decisions in every situation they go through,” he said.