For the past two years I have been working with Police Departments in the Pierce County area on various projects. Generally I perform documentation, promotional, and training photographs for events that they host. Most of the time the photographs are pretty mundane documentary photos. People at podiums, crowds, group portraits. Pretty standard photographs.
Every once and a while they throw a curve ball at me. This time the curve ball was Simunitions training session at a local college.
For those who aren’t familiar with Simunitions – they’re soap filled plastic bullets that are fired out of highly modified or dedicated firearms. They’re setup so that is almost impossible to chamber a “real” cartridge, but they’re realistic enough many of the firing aspects of a “real” firearm. Unlike commercial firearms replicas, like airsoft, Simunitions replicate everything from the smell, and feel of a real firearm to the techniques required to repair a malfunction.
These training scenarios are designed to put pressure on the officers, and pit them against a wide range of hand selected volunteers. Some of these volunteers are highly trained combat specialists, while others are individuals who only have a basic level of firearms handling. This wide playing field allows the participating officers to experience the different types of active shooter scenarios that they might encounter.