Armed with cap guns and the usual apprehension, two recruits from the New York Police Academy knocked on the door of a set in the Bronx meant to resemble a down-at-the-heels apartment. They had just received a radio assignment from an instructor: 911 had taken a complaint about an “E.D.P.” — an emotionally disturbed person — in their sector. They were told to report to the location and advise.
As they entered the apartment last week — “This is the police!” — three more instructors in bluejeans started to enact a not-uncommon situation: The disturbed man, rejecting pleas to take his medication, suddenly pulled a knife on the officers and his own family. With hands at their holsters, the trainees had to improvise: They talked the armed man down, radioed for backup and hurriedly escorted the family out the door.
All the while, injecting real stress into the simulation, 30 of their classmates watched from above. Ringed around the railings of a balcony, their fellow cadets were looking down at them as if from the mezzanine of an Elizabethan stage.
Read more at The New York Times