Q: Isn't this the same as FATS training?
A: No, this is much more complex than FATS training. "F.A.T.S." is an abbreviation for Firearms Training Systems, the original inventors and producers of these gadgets. We use IES Milo Pro which we believe is considerably advanced over the latest generation FATS. We do not do "FATS Training" per se. "FATS" has become an acronym for this type of training, like all copiers are called "Xeroxes." We do NOT leave the judgment on the officers performance to the machine, because it can't hear the officer or see what he's doing. Thus it can render totally inaccurate judgments. For example, if the bad guy turns around with a gun in his hand, then puts the gun down, it would be a no-shoot situation (as programmed). But if the officer yells, "Don't move!" and he turns around with the gun, he's violating the officer's command, which establishes intent, the third element of threat, and the officer would be justified in shooting. The machine would score that as "bad judgment" because to it, any time a shot is fired in that scenario, it is bad judgment, because it is a "no shoot".
Q: How many scenarios does each officer go through?
A: We typically train each officer on five scenarios. We consider five scenarios in about 35-45 minutes to be optimum for training purposes. Our experience tells us that during the first one or two scenarios, many officers suffer from "screen shock" and react atypically, because they aren't used to simulator training, or are embarrassed by yelling at the screen. The third through fifth are the best training scenarios. After five or six scenarios, though, the officers start treating it like a game, trying to second-guess the machine to get a good score.
Q: How many officers can AFT train in a day?
A: We can train up to 20 officers a day, taking a half-hour, plus or minus, for each officer.
Q: Can we just lease a simulator and do our own training?
A: Yes. We feature two leasing programs in which we set up and calibrate the simulator, train your instructors on its operation and our instructional methodology, then provide either on-site or telephone support while your instructors do the training. \*Simulator Leasing Page\
Q: What kind of weapons does the simulator work with?
A: Virtually any commonly issued law enforcement handgun. We have drop in laser modules for any conventional or double-action-only 9mm, .40 S&W, or .45 ACP auto-loading pistol. We also have “Red” Glock training weapons available for departments that issue Glocks.
Q: Can we train with shotguns or patrol rifles?
A: Yes. We have drop-in 12-gauge lasers for pump shotguns, and a conversion kit for AR-15/M-16 rifles and variants which uses CO2 cartridges to allow semi- and fully automatic firing.
Q: Do the weapons recoil?
A: No. We believe that the additional realism of allowing the officer to use there their own duty weapons with grips, trigger pull, and sights they are accustomed to more than make up for the lack of recoil. Systems which use CO2 or compressed air require awkward tethers and tanks, which detract from the realism of the training.
Q: Does the system have shoot-back capabilities?
A: We have hit-back but not shoot-back. Our knowledge of agencies who use systems with "shoot-back cannons" which shoot paintballs or plastic balls back at the officers undergoing training has convinced us that the additional training in use of cover that these devices afford does not outweigh their drawbacks. Too often officers undergoing training become angry with the instructor when stung by the projectile, and resent the training rather than learning from it. The eye and hand protection necessary to ensure safety detracts from the realism of the scenarios, and officers tend to rivet their attention onto the muzzle of the shoot-back cannon rather than the scenario unfolding on the screen.
Q: Can we train with partners?
A: Yes! Up to four officers can go through a scenario together, acting as a team. The simulator will differentiate between the lasers, so the instructor can tell exactly which officer fired which shot.
Q: How many scenarios does AFT have available?
A: We feature more than 500 scenarios, including Active Shooter, SWAT, Corrections, and Counterterrorism, in four levels of difficulty, so the less adept don’t get discouraged, while the more proficient don’t become bored. And we upgrade our scenarios constantly to reflect current tactics and law enforcement concerns (e.g., "Gunman at the High School, Suicide Bomber").