AUSTIN - Recent officer-involved shootings have led to more community policing including right here in Austin. There's an agency that is working to train officers and get them more prepared for difficult situations.
Bryan Flatt is a training coordinator for the Texas Municipal Police Association (TMPA). Before joining TMPA, he worked in law enforcement for 24 years. He said his main goal now is keeping officers safe and prepared.
"We have to be on guard every traffic stop, every contact," Flatt said. "And the officers have to go through training that's realistic, and it has to be safe."
Flatt travels around Texas, putting officers through training scenarios, including a "Shoot or Don't Shoot" situation that can feel very realistic.
"In a very stressful situation, you don't get to see the big picture like your cameras do," Flatt said. "You'll get tunnel-visioned."
To combat this tunnel vision, Flatt's course teaches the OODA loop process, originally created for combat operations. This stands for observe, orient, decide and act.
"Everyone has to go through it, not just law enforcement, not just military," Flatt said. "Every citizen goes through this process. There's things that happen in life. All of a sudden, you get scared or something startles you. You have to orient yourself as to where you're at in that split second."
This type of realistic training is something Flatt said many police departments are lacking and something that could improve police issues in Austin and in America.
"We need to train you under stressful conditions so you don't overreact as much out on the street," Flatt said.
To learn more about TMPA, you can visit their website here.
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