Simulator, training scenarios show split-second use-of-force decisions made by police

Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives took FOX 5 through a use of force media training. 

Wednesday, agents played videos of real-life scenarios that law enforcement officials go through on a day to day in front of members of the media. 

ATF officials cited Supreme Court cases that have set legal standards when it comes to using force. 

"They stated that officers have the right to use force. Not the privilege. The right, " says Jim Balthazar, the PIO for the Special Operations Division at the ATF. 

"What we want to do in law enforcement is communicate with the community what the legal rules are for law enforcement officers when they use force. And what are the practical realities of human performances when they find themselves in stressful circumstances," says Deputy Chief Paul Massock, of the ATF’s Special Operations Division.

One of the scenarios that were showcased through a firearm simulator was a traffic stop where the driver pulled a knife. 

The training comes after several recent high-profile cases where officers’ actions have come under scrutiny. Agents say an officer’s use of force depends on the totality of the facts including the demeanor of a person and whether an individual is armed.

Agents add that the training is meant to give context to national debates on the use of force.