Two officers at a time went through 10-minute interactive use-of-force and firearms training scenarios Thursday, followed by a debriefing with Ardolf. The MILO system is like a big video game, and officers stand in front the screen and respond instantly to scenarios that unfold, including everything from trespassing to traffic stops to drug deals. The people on the screen are also interacting with the officers.
The officers must use verbal commands and the appropriate level of force, Ardolf said.
During Kopp’s and Baynes’ first run through with the motorcyclist scenario, they didn’t communicate with each other who was pulling what weapon, Ardolf said. But both saw the suspect had reached down toward his pocket before spinning around, and Kopp responded with deadly force.
The second time, they had it down.
“We were just a lot quicker that time,” Baynes said.
Both Baynes and Kopp said it had been about three years since they received simulation training.
“It’s easy to get lackadaisical in your training,” Kopp said.
But even in Eagle Lake, which most people would assume is a quiet community, both officers said it’s important to be ready for anything.
“It can always happen,” said Baynes, who added that all officers are trained to be ready for any situation that could quickly escalate.
Voss said the MILO training is a great way to showcase Rasmussen’s School of Justice Studies and its Law Enforcement program. The Eagan campus uses the training often, but this is the first time the equipment has been brought to the Mankato campus, she said.