Thanks to the “Use of Force Simulator,” members of the community were able to insert themselves in the shoes of a police officer for the first time at the Barstow Police Department’s Public Safety Fair on May 13.

In addition to the simulator, attendees enjoyed an array of demonstrations, food, music and games during the community event.  

“It went excellent; there was a lot of community support. I think it went pretty well,” Barstow Police Department Cpt. Andy Espinoza said.

Not only was there a lot of community support, there were also representatives from county, state and federal government agencies at the event.

For the first time, the Barstow High School jazz band came out to perform, and, according to Espinoza, the performance was “excellent.”  

The event also marked the debut of the “Use of Force Simulator,” where 53 community members went through various scenarios that police officers are often presented with.

“I enjoyed watching the citizens go through the simulator,” Espinoza said. “It was fun talking to them afterwards and getting their perspective.”

Whether attendees were competing against one another for a prize or sitting in a patrol unit, the Public Safety Fair was a chance to get to know the men and women involved in local law enforcement while also enjoying themselves.

Some of the displays included CSI vans, a California Highway Patrol helicopter, patrol units, motorcycles and more.

“We got a lot of positive feedback,” Espinoza said.

Police officers, firefighters and other emergency personnel were on hand to interact with visitors as they strolled through the many presentations.

“It's great for the community to interact and talk to their local police officers, explorers and other department volunteers. We get to engage with them in a fun and interactive setting,” Espinoza said.