YARMOUTH (CBS) — Blue lights flash in the dark of the night and police open fire.
It’s not an active crime scene in Yarmouth, it’s a training exercise, but it’s about as real as it gets.
Yarmouth police officer Nick Pasquarosa screams, “Put the gun down, let him go!” as he watches a man point a gun to the head of his partner on video.
Pasquarosa fires live shots at the suspect on the screen. The scenario plays out in a mobile training trailer on wheels, which is pretty unique.
The officers use real guns, their department issued glocks, in some very tough conditions. They’re tested on whether or not a threat is real.
Pasquarosa, who is also one of the department’s firearms training officers, says, “The average shooting that an officer would get involved in happens after dark with multiple assailants somewhere from seven yards in, so practicing that and using the equipment you would need prepares the officer to be successful in that engagement.”
Then it’s light’s out to target a suspect in the dark. The deputy chief of the department, Frank Frederickson, is put to the test. “It just goes to show you how difficult it is when you change the conditions, everything changes.”
He says this night training exercise is valuable training that needs to be done more often, but unfortunately across the state and the country it’s not done enough.
Jerry Tilbor is the operations manager for the company Blue Line Corporation which owns the trailer and runs the training. He says every officer that goes through the training says it’s the best they’ve ever had because it’s live fire and you’re using your own firearm and your own skills.
Even I get a lesson and a feel for what it’s like to be in an officer’s shoes. Firearms instructor Lt. Mike Bryant gives me a lesson on technique and safety.
The lights go off, a siren screams, blue lights flash and I pull the trigger over and over again. It’s a challenge to keep my focus and concentration, but in the end I’m told my skills are pretty good.
Raw Video: WBZ’s Kathy Curran Tests Out Her Shooting Skills
It’s critical training to help police officers determine whether a threat is real and to give them the necessary skills in case they have to pull the trigger because there are no do-overs in real life situations when officers are out fighting crime.