A virtual firearms training simulation program used by police in New York State is saving training funds while providing officers with a realistic experience. The Eastern Air Defense Sector (EADS) in Rome, N.Y. and the Utica Police Department recently provided members of the media with a demonstration of the EADS Firearms Training Simulation program (FATS), which presents real-life scenarios police might encounter such as domestic disputes, traffic stops, school shootings and rooftop snipers. As a trainee steps up the screen, a scenario is chosen by another officer who then controls how the characters on the screen react depending on the trainee’s behavior. Trainees talk the screen and give orders such as “calm down” and “drop your weapon.” The FATS system simulates the recoil of a firing gun, allows users to blow up fuel tanks by shooting them, and differentiates between lethal and nonlethal shots. EADS Technical Sgt. Kyle Laitenberger said live-fire training exercises are still an important part of training, but the FATS program costs “pennies on the dollar” compared to using live ammunition. About 200 officers from throughout the state travel to Rome every year to train on the system.