Arizona State Representative Travis Grantham is no stranger to dangerous situations – whether real or simulated. As a Major and reservist in the Arizona Air National Guard, he experiences them regularly, both while piloting a Boeing KC-135 tanker refueling F-15s at 15,000 feet, or training for the real thing inside a military flight simulator.
Recently VirTra invited Rep. Grantham and several other Arizona legislators to spend some time in a VirTra V-300™ judgmental use of force simulator to allow them to experience first-hand what law enforcement officers in the field can face on the job. The company regularly works with legislators and others in state and local government to help educate them on use of force issues and police training methods, and experiencing the incredible realism of the VirTra V-300™ is an impactful way to do that. From a domestic disturbance to an active shooter scenario, the V-300 provides the ultimate in reality-based training for policing in the 21st century, and after going through three different scenarios in the V-300, Rep. Grantham and the other legislators came away impressed.
“It’s awesome that this technology exists. It’s an invaluable training tool for law enforcement agencies. Nobody can understand what officers are up against in a use of force situation. There are a lot of ‘Monday Morning Quarterbacks’ out there, but they shouldn’t be too quick to judge someone’s split-second decisions when facing a gun or potentially staring at death.” The active shooter scenario in a movie theatre brought that message home for Grantham. “It was dark, there were doors and stairs, and lots of places for someone to hide.” The prospect of experiencing consequences in the form of VirTra’s patented ThreatFire system heightened his senses, adding stress and making the situation even more heart-pounding.
Grantham quickly made the connection between military flight training and his V-300 experience, since his flight training often includes sights, sounds, and even smells that a trainee would encounter in an actual event. “Being in the V-300 reminded me of real world scenarios in my reserve duty flight simulator training,” he says. Pilots train in scenarios that simulate an electrical fire in which the cockpit fills with real smoke, and the situation can escalate dangerously, with smoke getting better or worse depending on the decisions trainees make. VirTra can duplicate these types of situations with automated or instructor-controlled video branching using live actors, and a 300 degree view and surround sound that fully immersed Grantham in his active shooter scenario.
Fortunately in both his flight training and the V-300 scenario, Grantham could learn from his mistakes without jeopardizing his aircraft or his safety – something that he is thankful for. “I’m a big believer in using technology to provide safe experiences that can provide teachable moments to help save lives.” Grantham would like to see technology like VirTra’s made more broadly available to law enforcement agencies. “State governments and law enforcement need to use their money and resources wisely, and this is one way to do it.”