Desoto Parish deputies used to have to drive a long way for state-of-the-art training. But not anymore. That's since the parish unveiled its new million dollar training facility. The building was funded by tax revenue from the Haynesville Shale. It boasts a professionally equipped gym, a shooting range and a conference room with a smartboard.
But its most interesting feature? The training simulator. It puts trainees in real-life situations where they have to make choices that could mean life or death.
Take this scenario. A man is walking along a sidewalk, acting suspiciously. When the deputy approaches him, he pulls out a gun. So what should the deputy do? That's exactly what this kind of training is geared to teach. "We can bring a new deputy in, expose him to calls it could take him five years to experience. Once that happens, it opens his eyes to the situation," says Sargeant Dusty Herring, a firearms instructor and S.W.A.T member. And in the end, he says, that's exactly what it's designed to do.