High School and College students get hands-on police use of force training

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — With recent officer-involved shootings, the Fort Wayne Police Department is hoping to open a dialogue with community members.

Friday they held a class for students and administrators from Purdue University Fort Wayne and Fort Wayne Community Schools, to role-play different scenarios where force might be used and share their thoughts.

“It opened up my eyes and my thoughts,” Fort Wayne United Program Coordinator Greggory Smith-Causey said. “Some of the concerns I had, some of the doubts that I have. I’ve been changed in a way because of today’s experience.”

For almost three hours participants of the class learned about the legal and illegal force. Students were asked to make traffic stops, deescalate a situation, and were witnesses to a fight where a man pulled a gun. Each one of the scenarios was given to show just

“It gives them an upfront perspective and it gives them real-time on what we go through because the scenarios we put them through are actual scenarios that our officers have been through,” FWPD Deputy Chief Southeast Division Mitch McKinney said. “We don’t want anyone to go through those scenarios again. So it gives people a different perspective.”

Fort Wayne United partnered with the police department to help educate young adults and create an open dialogue.

“If we can build bridges between police officers and students and young men we think that’s a win for our city,” Smith-Causey said.

Fort Wayne United is hoping to partner with the police department again. The hope is that more students and administrators get a chance to participate in the class.

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