The Legal Defense Fund is allowing the public to have access to many of the same training simulations as the ones used by police. By providing this service, this organization hopes to increase awareness about the conditions that the police face while they protect and serve the public.
According to USA Today, “Our hope is to educate people,” says the Legal Defense Fund’s president, Ron Hosko.
Hosko claims that a better understanding needs to be developed so that there is less tension between police officers and the public. He knows that there is a great deal of work to be done before these issues are resolved.
However, he hopes that public interaction with these training simulations will help to increase public awareness about these sensitive issues.
Hosko added, “We’re up for a conversation.”
The training simulations demonstrate that police sometimes have to make quick judgment calls or face extreme amounts of danger.
However, there are some who are not convinced that public access to the training simulations will do any good. There are many civil rights activists who are suspicious about any effort of a law enforcement organization that does not demand accountability.
Rashad Robinson, the executive director of Color of Change, said, “This is a question about a system where police have no accountability and trust that has been broken.”
Robinson’s online organization is primarily concerned with civil rights. He also adds, “We have no need to go to their office and play video games.”
Although access to the training simulations has left some unconvinced, there are others who felt that the training simulations might actually help to increase understanding between the public and police.
After his participation in the training exercises, Reverend Markel Hutchins from Atlanta said, “The training sensitized me in a way no other effort could have. Our obligation is to promote understanding. We have to see the humanity in each other, the humanity in the lives of young African-American men and woman and vice versa.”
The Reverend is an advocate for civil rights and has publicly expressed his disapproval of the alleged abuses by law enforcement officers. He now says that he realizes that not all shootings happen because of the alleged racist attitudes of many in the police force.