THE BRONX - Criminal justice students at Monroe College took part in a police-style shooting simulation Thursday to prepare for the possibility of being confronted by armed criminals in their future careers.

Keith Singer, who teaches the class and is a retired NYPD lieutenant, says the course develops critical thinking skills.

The simulation mimics real-life street situations using laser weapons that look and feel like real guns, Singer says.

“They are going to know different situations they don't feel right in,” he says. “Where they will know, OK, something bad might happen."

Singer says the students will be better prepared for surprises later on.

"It's not just about should I shoot or not shoot," adds Michele Rodney, dean of the Criminal Justice Department. "Should I think about the commands I can give to de-escalate the situation?"