NEW CASTLE, Pa. — Every day, police officers face a variety of intense situations, from traffic stops to domestic violence.

To better prepare, the New Castle Police Department received cutting-edge technology through a federal grant to train officers to respond to real-world scenarios, including active shooter situations.

“There's going to be a lot more awareness among our officers because we're going to be going in there and stopping the threat. We don't have to wait for backup or anything like that,” said New Castle Police Chief David Cumo.

“You really get drawn into the scenario. You feel like you're an active participant, so it's just your reflexes and your instincts that you know the situation so well,” Director Spider said.

Channel 11 has exclusively revealed a training simulator that gives police officers a 300-degree perspective. It is the first facility in Western Pennsylvania to feature five screens, a projector, and surround sound.

Police officers stand at the center, trying to de-escalate the situation and use the weapons they use on the job to respond to a variety of emergencies.

“This is definitely a wake-up call,” said Trooper Brandi Stewart. “The more you do it, the more it will flow naturally.”

Police officers use real-duty weapons that have been modified to allow them to interact with the screen in different scenarios.

“It's packed with a carbon dioxide-filled magazine and a firearm clip, so you can feel the recoil in a realistic manner,” Chief Kumo said.

Even cops get electrocuted when they get shot. There's also the ability to photograph local hospitals, schools, and other locations to bring your scenarios closer to home. Chief Kumo said he is reaching out to neighboring departments to train their officers in this state-of-the-art system.

“I think it's going to impact how we interact and handle situations going forward. It's clear that police officers have to make split-second decisions all the time,” Chief Kumo said. “I think a system like this makes people feel more comfortable at work.

Kumo hopes the new training will also help recruit more police officers.

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