CPR's Andrea Dukakis stands in front of video screens and uses a fake gun to test the Denver police department's new "shoot-don't-shoot" simulator. 

(Courtesy of Denver Police)

Aa time when police departments across the country are subject to increased scrutiny, the Denver police department has begun using a new high-tech tool to help officers make smart decisions in hostile situations. 

The "shoot-don't-shoot simulator" by the Arizona-based company VirTra, uses wrap-around video screens to depict hostile encounters between police and civilians. The goal is to make officers feel like they're responding to real-life situations.

The officers use fake handguns designed to look and feel like real guns to respond  to a variety of scenarios, including one where a father threatens to injure his baby and another where a mass shooting is underway at a movie theater. 

Trainers use a computer to manipulate the scenes based on how the officers are reacting. When it's over, officers get feedback on their responses.

CPR's Andrea Dukakis got a chance to try out the technology and talks about her experience with Colorado Matters host Nathan Heffel.