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Police tackle reality based training

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Police tackle reality based training
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Law enforcement in Tompkins County prepares for the worst with more true to life training scenarios. As our Tamara Lindstrom reports, some of the scenes hit close to home. A warning, the video we're about to show is from a training simulation. None of it is real, but some viewers may find it disturbing.

ITHACA, N.Y. -- It may just be training, but if it was any more real than this, lives would be at stake.

"One hundred percent, this is real. It doesn't matter if you know the scenario, it's different every time," said Cornell University Police Officer Mike Corp.

"Every day, every call is different, whether you're going to a normal noise complaint. It could end up like this. So you never know what you're going into, "said Robert Dupay, Ithaca Police Officer.

Put on by the Ithaca Police, Tompkins County Sheriff's Office and Cornell Police Department, this week's training will put officers through the ringer.

"We're looking for officers in a situation like this, to put themselves between the good guy and the bad guy and save people's lives," said Ithaca Police training coordinator Sgt. Jacob Young.

From the sounds of screaming victims to the smell of gunfire, the scenarios are designed to be as real as possible, giving officers a leg up in a bad situation.

"Their heart is pumping, their blood pressure is probably through the roof. And they experience what it's like in reality and it kind of gives them a little inoculation," Young said. "So when it does happen to them, they will have a place to say I've been here before, I've done this, I'm confident I can go in and save lives."

Giving the officers confidence to face situations like stopping a shooter, or even helping a fellow officer who's down.

"We just recently had an officer involved shooting where the officer was actually shot," Young said. "A little bit different from this scenario, but certainly high stress situations."

And one these officers say they're now confident they can handle.

The officers go through reality based training every year. The program is made possible by several local agencies sharing their resources.

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