As police departments across the nation seek innovative ways to expand the force on force training and knowledge of their police officers to perform their duties, an increasing number of communities are finding creative means to purchase use of force training police simulators by banding together to share the high-tech interactive training systems.
Pooling Resources Together
By acquiring the systems together, police departments and communities can make such purchases more affordable for their individual communities by lowering the costs to more manageable levels.
A wide range of methods to make such purchases are being pursued as police departments and communities look to find alternate means to obtain the highly-desirable use of force training realistic police simulator systems for their officers without using public funds.
Among those methods are help from private foundations, including local tax-exempt charitable police foundations, which raise money from donors to help fund special projects to buy shoot no shoot training technology, pay for additional training and make other purchases for their local police departments.
St. Louis Buys a Police Training Simulator
Such a project was established and funded recently through the St. Louis Police Foundation in Missouri, using a substantial gift from a private donor which paid for the purchase of a top-of-the-line VirTra V-300 five-screen, 300-degree police use of force training system. The V-300 uses real video featuring live actors to provide use of force scenario training simulations for officers and was selected through a review process after the donor asked the Foundation what police agencies in the area needed.
The system was tagged as the first choice of the St. Louis County Police Department and the donor agreed to make the purchase – provided the law enforcement use of force training system could be shared with other police departments in the area, building collaboration into the deal. The system was purchased and installed at the St. Louis County and Municipal Police Academy, where testing is underway and force options police simulator training use by officers is expected to begin by late August. More than 100 police departments and municipalities are members of the academy and can potentially use the police simulator system. Without the donor’s gift, the county would not have been able to afford the purchase, which will now benefit the area’s police departments.
Options to Purchase your Virtual Reality Training System
Other options to buy such virtual reality training systems include community partnerships where groups of departments and municipalities can apply for neighborhood grants, which usually come from federal and urban development agencies. The grants, which usually total about $10,000 each, can be combined between grant applicants to make larger purchases together to initiate projects, including police simulator training technology.
Federal asset forfeiture programs, where assets and proceeds of criminals involved in federal crimes can be seized and distributed, are also potential sources of funding for such investments, as well as possible special assessments on traffic tickets and other fees and fines. State attorney generals can also potentially help procure funding for local departments through grants from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Ensuring that officers and police departments have the right training tools to prepare for their work in their communities is a growing goal across our nation. Providing the best, most accurate realistic police simulator training is something we can all work to achieve to improve protections for the public and our officers as they do their jobs.