VIDEO: Taking you inside split-second police decisions

KXAN Investigator Kevin Schwaller tries a police use of force simulator. (KXAN Photo/Kevin Schwaller)
KXAN Investigator Kevin Schwaller tries a police use of force simulator. (KXAN Photo/Kevin Schwaller)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Municipal Police Association let KXAN Investigator Kevin Schwaller try a virtual use of force simulator in order to let you see the kinds of decisions police face.

Before beginning, TMPA outfitted Schwaller with a modified gun, Taser and safety glasses. The simulator plays out scenarios officers could face on patrol. An operator watches and chooses outcomes based an officer’s actions.

In the first scenario, a man comes out of a gas station and shoots. Schwaller shot, but too late.

In another drill Schwaller responds to a call about graffiti in a school, only to find a student holding a gun to her own head. Schwaller looks away briefly as someone role playing for the training session yells and records cell phone video. In those few instants the student turns the gun on Schwaller.

“You were distracted very easily by one of the role players coming in with their cell phone recording you and talking to you,” said John Wilkerson, a TMPA field rep.

He explains taking cover and keeping focus would have been the better options.

“Start talking and opening up that box of dialogue with that individual to hopefully help resolve this issue without anybody getting hurt at all,” said Wilkerson. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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