Oftentimes, agencies get stuck in a rut on how they train. The mental fixation of years of similar paradigms or “this is how we have always done it” lead to limitations – albeit self-inflicted limitations. One such area that often faces limitations is the use of simulated event training. In most instances, students are brought into a training room, immediately placed into a simulator, and confronted with an unknown scenario. The student runs through the scenario and the instructor debriefs their performance. Then “wash, rinse, and repeat.” VirTra encourages agencies to avoid this rut and get more from their training with added realism and richer environments inside a simulation, which is made possible by adding real-world 3D space and 4D aspects.
The Power of 4D Use of Force Simulation
An example of 3D space includes the use of real cover inside the police simulation training. Adding a simulated wall – constructed out of plywood and painted to look like an actual pony wall – provides a great neighborhood position of cover. Or the front end of a patrol car – constructed out of wireframe, structured with foam, and painted to resemble department vehicles – makes a great lightweight prop.
The fourth-dimensional aspect takes all of the three-dimensional aspects but adds the element of time. This can be accomplished with a live role-player in addition to the simulation. This 3D object is now moving around while the simulation takes place and is at different points at different times. This role-player could simulate a hostage that is moving inside the effective field of fire of the officer. This live role-player movement creates the need to change position to get an open shot or to physically move the role-player out of harm’s way. This is impossible to achieve in live-fire drills due to safety issues.
Advanced Law Enforcement Training
These props – stationary or live-action – dramatically increase the capability of training inside the use of force simulation and adds to the possible training objectives. They add context and difficulty, provide challenges for the trainee to overcome, and increases the immersion of training.