12:28 PM

UHD Hosts 'Shoot or Don't Shoot' Simulation

Wednesday, April 27, University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) held a Shoot or Don't Shoot Simulation in room C225 of the Commerce Building, from 7-8 p.m. Nhatthien "Nathan" Nguyen, a UHD adjunct professor and Houston Police Department (HPD) lieutenant, sponsored the event as part of his CJ 4303 class, Vice Drugs and the Law.

Conducted by HPD Officer Jorge Gaytan, the event offered a very realistic and virtual interactive simulation, created with a digital projector and motion sensors. Approximately eight students participated in six different scenarios ranging from, "Suicide by Cops," and domestic violence, to active shooter.

HPD Officer Gaytan was extremely helpful in play-by-play analysis, noting when and how the students justifiably used deadly force. Some students commented that the simulation gave them a greater appreciation of what officers experience when making split-second life and death decisions. Others stated they were shocked to discover their vulnerability, as reaction is always slower than initial action. Officer Gaytan also emphasized the importance of seeking cover and concealment when confronting dangerous suspects.

UHD Criminal Justice Chair, Barbara Belbot, Ph.D., and Ashley Blackburn, Ph.D., were instrumental in publicizing the event.