KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With police shootings becoming more and more common, Jackson County legislators approved spending more than $300,000 Monday on a de-escalation training simulator for sheriff’s deputies.

The simulator is designed to better prepare deputies for real-life incidents that all too often result in officer-involved shootings.

The training is supposed to help officers identify conditions like autism and mental illness in people they encounter.

The focus is on de-escalation techniques, knowing when officers must use deadly force, adapting to low light conditions, and improving officers’ weapons skills.

“It’s all about de-escalation,” Sgt. Jeff Carpenter of the Jackson County sheriff’s office said. “That’s the main goal of the simulator is de-escalation and expecting the unexpected. Learning to keep your head on a swivel and learning what’s going to happen.”

The simulator employs actors to make the training realistic and the scenarios can take different paths based on decisions that are made by the trainee or instructor.

Although Kansas City police already have a similar training simulator, Jackson County expects to offer the technology to other suburban police forces and corrections officers who don’t have access to this resource.

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