Vigor High School students had a unique experience last week at the Mobile Tactical Center.
Students were able to participate in hands-on scenarios where they had to decide whether or not to use deadly force.
“I felt like scared, for one,” high school senior Ayanna Edmond said.
“This year we wanted to do it a little bit different, given the youth violence that we’re seeing, and we wanted to reach out to them and see what they think about it,” said MCSO spokeswoman Lori Myles.
MCSO worked with Junior Achievement to host the program, an annual event.
Myles said they learned valuable insight into how young people think about police situations and violence in today’s world.
And deputies were able to explain their perspective, too.
And then, they showed the high school seniors.
They entered what’s called a “shoot house” in groups with realistic-looking Glock models filled with paint balls.
They were to enter the house knowing scare details about a given scenario. Law enforcement played the characters.
One given was a sister who was afraid of another relative, who was somewhere else in the house.
When students posing as officers arrived, the relative came out and was uncooperative.
Some students did end up using deadly force; one used a taser and restrained the relative.
She was commended for that.
One Vigor senior said it wasn’t what she expected.
“If i would have been a police officer, I thought would i be able to come home, see tomorrow, because you never know what to expect when you get a call like this,” said Alexis Vassel.
They also listened to law enforcement in a classroom and participated in a simulator where various situations caused them to decide whether or not to shoot.
News 5’s Cassie Fambro tried it, and was surprised at how quickly a seemingly innocuous situation turned possibly deadly.
Students felt the same, and their teacher thinks it was a good thing.
“This has put them in situations where they realize the officers only have a few seconds to respond, and hopefully it will inspire some of them to go into law enforcement,” said Lt. Col. Henry, their JROTC leader.