How Nevada Police Trainers Use Simulator To Learn Use Of Force Methods


As police face increased scrutiny over their use of force, many departments are looking at ways to improve their training programs. At the Henderson Police Department outside of Las Vegas, a new simulation technology prepares officers for real life situations, NPR reports. Trainer Danny King and his students are trying to talk an armed suspect out of his house while his agitated dog barks in the background. They haven’t left the police station. They’re using a new immersive simulator. It’s a far cry from old instructional videos.

Henderson trains on a $275,000 simulator produced by a company called VirTra that’s based in Tempe, Az. A rumbling platform is surrounded by five projection screens providing 300 degrees of video and speakers that produce immersive, high-fidelity sound effects. It looks like the most advanced first-person shooter videogame ever. It is no game. Trainees are armed with real Glock .22s modified to simulate actual recoil, wearing what VirTra calls a threat fire device, basically a Taser that will shock those who are shot in the simulation. King says the interactive nature of the VirTra simulator is very effective on rookies and veterans alike, allowing them to experience intense emotions for the first time in the trainer instead of the field.

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