Posted on Dec. 31, 2019 by VirTra Inc

Have You Thought About a 3D Simulator?

If you are an instructor, chances are you need new teaching solutions beyond presentations and video lessons. These methods of teaching are outdated and ineffective, especially when contextualized by a real-world event. Law enforcement officers can be experts on the protocol on paper, but not always in a high-stress, dangerous situation. Due to this reality, the best way to train a department is through real-world, immersive experiences.

VirTra’s firearms training simulators enhance a department’s training, especially through the addition of 3D props. Read these tips on adapting your simulation to make training as immersive and effective as possible.

Realistic 300-Degree Use of Force Simulation Training

The first step to creating and effective 3D training simulation is obvious: purchasing an immersive simulation system. VirTra specializes in state-of-the-art 300-degree simulation technology, which uses five screens, surround sound and seamless video for maximum physical fidelity. Difficult decisions, extensive branching options and the addition of return-fire helps create psychological fidelity—fully immersing the trainee in the situation.

The V-300® also allows trainees to apply training principles to a real-life situation without worrying about making mistakes or compromising their safety or the public’s. Training in this manner helps law enforcement and military experts to develop skills in stressful, high-pressure environments that translates to life in the field.

Have a Prop Budget? Try for Maximum Accuracy

The next step to creating a 3D environment is adding props to the simulator. First and foremost, instructors must choose props that are realistic and accurate to the scenario. For example, if the scenario is an active shooter in an office, props could include desks and chairs. If possible, use actual objects as the props—it becomes less effective and realistic to use multiple chairs in leu of a desk, or a bucket in place of a water cooler. Focus on props that are relevant and believable.

Lightweight, Durable Props Are Your Best Bet

After deciding which scenario and props to use in the training simulation, consider purchasing high-quality props. There are a few guidelines to keep in mind when buying props: invest in props that are portable and lightweight. Bulky, heavy props become a hassle to move each time an instructor wants to stage a training exercise. But weigh ease of movement with durability. Durable props will last through more training exercises, as trainees can damage the prop when training. Finding a balance between portable and durable props will maximize the longevity of your 3D environment.

Using Audio to Replicate Background Noise, Speech, & More

Physical props are an excellent way to add realism to a 3D environment. However, instructors also need to consider the auditory environment, which is best manipulated through sound. Few law enforcement and military situations are without loud, distracting noise, which can come from scared bystanders, the threat or the background. Thus, adding an audio component to the judgmental training simulation makes the circumstance feel more realistic and immersive.

Live Actors Up the Emotional Ante of a Scenario

Props and audio make for a high fidelity physical and psychological training environment, but the best de-escalation training scenarios involve an emotional element as well. The addition of live actors to the simulation allows participants to learn judgmental use of force while evaluating people’s body language, facial expressions and non-verbal threat cues. Actors can be instructed to aid, distract or confuse the officer as they complete the simulation, depending on the trainer’s instructions.

Why is Realism So Important in Law Enforcement Training?

What benefits can you expect after creating an immersive 3D training environment? Subjecting your team to a realistic situation causes them to gain experience evaluating and de-escalating situations. Using these training firearms simulations also allows participants to practice judgmental use of force and learn the consequences of their actions. Contact VirTra for more tips on how to maximize training.

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