LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- With police departments around the country being criticized for use of force, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department says it is giving the public a look at some of its training to be more transparent.
"It's very important to put people through that stress of policing because to tell the story of policing, it's hard to do if you're not one. And I think in this case when we allow our local media to come observe some of our training and experience some of those stresses that our officers go through it helps better tell the story. And when it comes to advising the public of what's going on, it certainly is better for everybody," said LVMPD Police Public Information Officer Larry Hadfield.
Police allowed journalists to act as officers in simulated shootings in what’s called Reality Based Training. One simulation that journalists participated in Thursday played out on the streets of Las Vegas in 2020.
Officers pulled over a domestic violence suspect. Video from Metro shows the suspect getting out of his car, going to his trunk and then firing several shots at officers, who fired back. No one was hit and the suspect then ran. The situation then turned into a SWAT situation that lasted several hours. The suspect surrendered peacefully.
During Thursday’s training event police stressed the importance of de-escalation.
"De-escalation is changing the outcome of an event. So in a case where you use less lethal force on an armed individual earlier in the event, that de-escalates it where we can get them into custody to where we did not allow it; it didn't get put the point where it turned into a deadly force situation," said Hadfield.
Police also had journalists take part in a scene inside a casino where a gambler was passed out at a gaming table. When officers showed up, they had to deal with an unruly friend of the intoxicated man who then wanted to fight officers.
Police say this is annual training for uniformed officers in the department, on top of other training they get. Police say as they review shooting incidents, they can re-create them at the training facility to inform other officers of things that can be improved in the field.
The training comes just after Metro released its accountability report from 2018 to 2019. Use of force was one of the top 5 complaints. Among other complaints -- body camera violations, violations of interactions with the public and arrests without warrants. You can read the full report here: