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Local

Newton Police Department receives grant for simunition weapons

Newton Police Chief Rob Burdess accepts a check from the Jasper Community Foundation President Dan Skokan for the amount of $5,000. The grant help with the purchase of simunition training weapons for the police department as well as other equipment.
Newton Police Chief Rob Burdess accepts a check from the Jasper Community Foundation President Dan Skokan for the amount of $5,000. The grant help with the purchase of simunition training weapons for the police department as well as other equipment.

The Newton Police Department recently received a grant from the Jasper Community Foundation for $5,000 that will assist them in purchasing equipment, including simunition weapons to be used by the department during training exercises.

Having the simunition weapons will allow for better training. Police departments performa a lot of instruction exercises, whether it’s practicing their accuracy with officers improving accuracy with live ammunition or other things like practicing shoot/don’t shoot scenarios.

“These are used by officers for force-on-force training, so obviously it would not be safe for them to use live ammo when they are doing building clearing and things like that,” Newton Police Chief Rob Burdess said.

The reason for these types of exercises is to prepare for real-world implications and scenarios police officers potentially face every day. These weapons will allow them to further hone their skills through more realistic training.

“Training in a safe environment using these simunition guns is going to be much more productive for our officers and much more realistic,” Burdess said.

A simunition gun is designed to function much like the regular on-duty firearms officers carry with them; the main difference being the simunition guns do not fire live bullets, instead they fire a plastic projectile.

“They are a different color. They are blue and black. They obviously are color coded differently than what we carry for safety purposes,” Burdess said.

The importance of being able to train with firearms that can register feedback to the officer is crucial as it allows for the training to be more responsive in case the officers ever experience that scenario on patrol.

“That’s important because in real life you may not get a second chance ... If we don’t practice when we get to that high risk situation then you really don’t have much to fall back on,” Burdess said.

While the uses for the officers and the police department focus on obtaining more realistic training for them to take out onto the streets, they also serve a purpose for those who don’t put the uniform on every day.

“They are going to be used during the Citizens Public Safety Academy ... That is going to be an opportunity for citizens to see what it is like to be in a fight or flight situation,” Burdess said.

This can be an impactful way for citizens to get just a glimpse, in a controlled environment, of what officers go through when faced with high-pressure situations and can be beneficial for citizens to understand police officers.

“We are pretty excited to add this equipment to our toolbox and so not only is it going to make the officers safer its going to provide a perspective for the citizens that may be different than what they have now,” Burdess said.

Contact Dustin Teays at 641-792-3121 ext. 6533 or dteays@newtondailynews.com

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