WAYNESBORO, Pa. (WHTM) — Habitat for Humanity is teaming up with the Waynesboro Police Department to provide a much-needed training space.

Officers with the Waynesboro Police Department encounter many different scenarios while on patrol.

“Cops are always being called inside for domestic situations and emotionally disturbed people,” said Officer Mark Taylor of the Waynesboro Police Department.

Because of the wide variety of calls officers respond to, every training opportunity is crucial. When Officer Taylor saw an empty house in town, he knew it would be the perfect place to train for those types of scenarios.

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“We usually don’t have situations like this, because we don’t have anywhere to train inside to make a realistic scenario,” said Officer Taylor.  

Habitat for Humanity of Franklin County agreed to share the house with the police while they fix it up. Eventually, the house will go to a family in need.

“We’re building community with the Waynesboro Police Department, and we’re building hope for the community, and the police department is getting proper training,” said Eric Straight, a construction manager at Habitat for Humanity of Franklin County.

The goal behind the training exercises is simple.

“We want officers to be safe, to be more efficient, handle these calls well, and come out safely,” Officer Taylor said.  

Officer Taylor says nothing can prepare officers for every worst-case scenario, but training their bodies and minds is still pivotal.

“They don’t know what they’re going to get into. We try to put their stress levels as high as we can. Obviously, it’s not the real thing. We try to get it as close to the real thing,” Officer Taylor said.  

Officers use fake ammunition to train.

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“This is a Simunition, a 9mm handgun, and this round is a reduced round, has a small round of powder. It’s only 400 feet per second and real slow compared to a real bullet,” Taylor said.

Training even includes using role players to act as shooters.

“After every scenario, we will have a debrief. We will talk about what we could’ve done better and things that they did good, “ Taylor added.

Officer Taylor says when it comes to saving lives every second counts.