With everything currently in the media, police departments across the nation are undergoing a great deal of scrutiny for use of force instances and policies. In fact, certain websites have been dedicated to limiting use of force by further educating law enforcement officers as well as the general public. One of the best ways to ensure police officers make the best decision in a difficult situation that may require force is by utilizing a science-based, experience-based, judgmental use of force simulator like VirTra develops.
Use of Force Simulators
Judgmental use of force simulators immerse the student officer in a situation based off real-life events. To make the event as realistic as possible, the officer is equipped with lethal and less lethal tools that interact with the simulator and cause the on-screen subject to react accordingly.
The goal of these realistic police training simulators is to teach the trainee how to respond in the situation—which ranges from de-escalation to active shooters to mental illness. Instructors can use the simulator to train officers how to communicate effectively, properly de-escalate and which instances warrant a lethal option. To maximize training, judgmental use of force simulators are a great addition to a department’s existing training method, whether it be lectures or roleplaying.
The Importance of Use of Force Training
Training police officers about proper use of force is critical, today more than ever. However, many departments utilize their simulator to teach judgmental use of force every few months, if not once a year. Simply put, this is not enough training to ensure officers make the best decisions in difficult situations in the field.
It is through constant, diligent practice with that decision making from transitioning from weapon to less lethal in Urban and Rural environments in both daylight and low light conditions that officers can keep their skills sharp and department procedures fresh in their mind. Going further, practicing often also teaches officers how to make the best choices in any situation—a critical skill for the field.
Virtual Simulators vs. Other Training Methods
Simulators are designed to immerse officers in what feels like potentially dangerous situations. Each VirTra simulator is equipped with a variety of scenarios and curriculum that cover a wide array of training topics, as mentioned above, and the ability to customize certain scenarios to fit department needs.
Other training methods, such as lectures, roleplay or actors, can consume a lot of time and money or break the illusion of reality. This makes it difficult for training officers to learn stress inoculation or how to make the best decision in a difficult situation. Rather than sticking with just traditional forms of training, departments should enhance their training with the physical application through a use of force simulator.
The more often officers engage in judgmental use of force training methods and scenarios, the more prepared they will be in the field. While it is impossible to predict situations in advance, it is possible to train for them by utilizing use of force training simulators. Learn more by contacting a VirTra specialist.