A total of 63 students enrolled in the Criminology and Criminal Justice program at Arizona State University visited VirTra’s headquarters to experience the technology in action. Half of the students eagerly crowded around the five-screen V-300® to watch fellow classmates run through scenarios. On the opposite side of the room, the rest of the students were practicing marksmanship on the three-screen V-180®.
ASU has visited VirTra for the past three years, allowing their criminal justice students to learn from hands-on experience. Professor of Practice Bob Robson and Associate Professor Dr. Danielle Wallace watched their students interact with the simulators, knowing this experience brings better understanding to their studies. Both professors know these students – primarily juniors and seniors – could become officers in the future. As such, they believe that experiencing reality-based training will prepare them for their careers.
“Taking students through the scenarios that real police officers go through…For them to have this experience early on gives them a better sense of what reality is all about,” said Professor Robson. “My class is a Police Accountability course, and this is the perfect place to learn.”
Criminal Justice students – such as the class from ASU – can benefit tremendously from VirTra’s training curriculum and simulators. Training provided by simulators cannot be replicated through lectures and videos, because of their realism and immersion. “I want them to interact,” said Professor Robson. “They’ve never had an opportunity to learn the stresses and strains that a police officer has to go under with only seconds to think.”
Universities may have the opportunity to purchase a simulator through state contracts or police training funds. It is applicable for both university police and classroom use, as this benefits both future and current law enforcement officials. Whether instructors choose to put students through heart-racing immersive scenarios or practice marksmanship, Criminal Justice students can learn from a simulated environment.