Citizens see police point of view through dangerous scenarios

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - A different kind of training pulled police over as community members had the chance to feel the adrenaline-filled moments of traffic stops and other scenarios.

"It's easy to see a video and be an expert fro your couch," said Officer Marcus Hendrix with Huntsville Police. "But unless you have boots on the ground, you have no idea what we go through."

Participants had an added advantage, getting briefed on the scenario they were walking into -- more than police get in the field.

"It's the unknown, and the majority of the time, the unknown is going to happen at the beginning of the traffic stop," said Officer Tony Dykes.

Luckily the guns were fake, and the offenders were officers, because most participants were 'shot' in less than a minute.

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"I was trying to put myself in the position of a real police officer who stops a vehicle he knows nothing about," said Huntsville multicultural affairs officer Kenny Anderson.

Leaders from the city, housing authority, and other organizations were taken through one of four scenarios, all based on real incidents.

"I thought the dog was going to come out, I thought he was going to rush me, I thought he had something on him," said Vanessa Cameron with Huntsville Housing Authority. "It's a second you can be living and a second you could be dying."

Everyone present agreed the split-second decision-making process was much tougher than they had anticipated.

"They have fears and deal with a public that can bring anything to the table at any time, it's just a lot that one needs to think about," said Anderson.

The exercise was the first part of a public symposium set for July 18, where citizens can learn about police procedures, as well as see the point-of-view body cam footage recorded during the scenarios.

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