FATS system displays real-life possibilities for officers
by Rachel Davis
Oct 15, 2012 | 1587 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sumiton officers David Clark and Brian Tolbert run through scenarios on the FATS system. Photo by: Rachel Davis
Sumiton officers David Clark and Brian Tolbert run through scenarios on the FATS system. Photo by: Rachel Davis
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SUMITON — This week Sumiton’s Police Department is using the FireArms Training Simulator owned by the Alabama Municipal Insurance Company to allow officers to work through real-life scenarios where they might be faced with using deadly force.

The FATS system plays out video scenarios on a screen loaded with sensors, while officers stand in fron of the screen with firearms and they are rated on their performance. The weapons are even loaded with nitrogen gas so the officer feels the recoil like a real weapon.

“The FATS is a wonderful opportunity for Sumiton Police officers to improve decision making and marksmanship skills,” Scott Karr, Sumiton PD’s public information officer and FBI firearms instructor, said. “Unlike real life, we can replay the scenarios and no one dies.”

The system also allows each instructor to personalize and customize the scenarios as they progress, depending on how the officer is handling the situation.

The system costs more than $150,000, but is available to departments in the state as a rental from AMIC.

AMIC is a not-for-profit mutual insurance company that was established by local governments, utilities and other municipal groups. According to its website, this helps municipalities “manage their liability, property and other insurance and loss related obligations.” According to the group, this allows for more efficient governmental operations that result in more local money devoted to the local programs.