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Utah Creates Police Training Center

A new program approved by Utah lawmakers creates a statewide center to train more police officers on how to defuse potentially deadly confrontations amid a national debate on police use of force.

Leo Lucey with the Utah Attorney General's Office said Tuesday the training will include a virtual-reality simulator to practice dealing with high-pressure situations and lessons from prosecutors who investigate officer-involved shootings.

Bountiful police chief Tom Ross says the simulator gets as close as possible to real-life situations that are the hardest part of an officer's job.

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Lucey says that the renewed public scrutiny makes it especially important to expand the training to more officers, including those from smaller, more rural departments where such resources can be scarce.

The governor has until March 30 to sign off on the program, which would cost $320,000 a year.