OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As civil unrest continues in our nation, the Oklahoma City Police Department is teaming up with leaders in the black community to share perspectives and open lines of communication.
“In a simulation video, I shot and killed a guy that I didn’t even know if he had a gun and I wasn’t going to sit there and wait to find out,” said Pastor Derrick Scobey.
The Pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church is talking about his recent try at the OKC Police Department firearms training simulator.
Recently Lt. Wayland Cubit of the OKCPD invited pastors from the OKC Black community to step in front of the screen and give it a run.
“It gives them a near real life view of what an officer experiences on a day to day basis,” said Captain Larry Withrow of the OKC PD.
“It wasn’t real but you could feel the pressure. It really opens your eyes. Policing is just not what you see,” said Pastor Michael McDaniel of Northeast Missionary Baptist Church.
Police say the simulator is a great way to open up lines of communication with Black leaders.
“They can share with us how their experience might have been with an encounter with police, and we can run them through a simulated experience that’s very similar to the experience they had, and then they can see that from our side,” said Withrow.
“We have a lot of problems when it comes to the OKCPD but everyone there is not bad and everyone in our community is not good. We need to find a way to better come together and understand one another. It is about listening on both sides,” said Scobey.
On Monday, the OKC City Manager announced a list of OKC residents that will sit on panel to oversee the police reforms the city passed back in June.
Pastor McDaniel is on that panel.
“If we are going to have complaints or say things about what’s happening, we have to become a part of it. I just know this, I won’t be so quick to judge now going thru and seeing this simulation,” said McDaniel.
“This just reinforces the need for those items and the cooperation between the public and law enforcement,” said Withrow.
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