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Shoot or don't shoot? Reporters try new use of force training at Boynton Beach Police Department

Posted at 3:39 PM, Nov 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-22 21:18:23-05

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - It’s not real life, but it certainly feels like it. On Wednesday, reporters and city officials were invited to try out Boynton Beach Police Department’s new use of force training scenario: shoot or don’t shoot.

Outfitted with a badge and a holster, reporters traded in their cameras and microphones for a bulletproof vest and a badge. 

Contact 5 investigator Merris Badcock represented WPTV during the training scenario which included real-life actors and guns loaded with paint-filled bullets.

“I played Duck Hunt as a kid,” said Boynton Beach Mayor Steven Grant, “but I have a feeling this isn’t going to be anything like that.”

The training is meant to raise an officers heart rate and stress levels while testing their ability to de-escalate a situation using the least lethal force possible. 

Reporters and city officials were decked out in a Boynton Beach police uniform. A black cloth bag placed over each participant’s head prevented them from seeing the scenario before training time.

“The recently renovated firing range was outfitted with technology that will allow officers to mimic real-life scenarios they may face on the streets,” spokesperson Stephanie Slater said in a news release.

In the coming months, Boynton Beach officers will utilize the new scenarios to test their use of force training.