MADISON COUNTY, Ohio (WCMH) – The Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy is home to a high-tech simulator that trainers say will save lives.

The MILO180 video simulator features a panoramic screen that trainees can interact with through real-time scenario-based training, training weapons that only fire lasers, and cameras and sensors to track reactions, then play them back. OPOTA also uses a gunshot simulator which recreates the cadence of actual gunfire.

“Essentially it’s a decision-making training tool. Once we give an officer knowledge and skills about how they should handle a situation, we then use this to put them in the situation in an immersive way,” said Eric Maudsley, a curriculum design specialist at OPOTA. “Like football film, you can go back and improve your performance the next time.”

Maudlin said the split-second decisions officers have to make on the job can sometimes be a matter of life and death, and that training makes all the difference during those high-pressure moments.

“Do officers make mistakes sometimes in split seconds? Absolutely. Are we going to fix it really fast? Absolutely. That’s why this tool is amazing,” Maudlin said.

Maudlin strongly recommends local agencies bring their officers to OPOTA to experience the simulator.

He said OPOTA also offers a course that uses scenarios in the MILO180 to teach officers to properly interact with people who are autistic or have other special needs.