Posted on Aug. 25, 2020 by Christopher Dorch

Academy training covers an extensive list of training topics. After all, these critical skills are what trainees take into the field as law enforcement: everything from de-escalation to less lethal, tourniquet application to proper interactions with mental illness, and more.

However, while trainees may understand and master the skills in the academy, what are they doing in their department to keep these skills fresh?

Use of Force Simulators

One of the best tools for increasing skills is VirTra’s judgmental use of force simulator. Each simulator is equipped with a wide variety of scenarios, each designed to increase one or more skills. For example, VirTra’s V-VICTA—Virtual Interactive Coursework Training Academy—scenarios are designed to teach specific skills such as Autism Awareness, Contact and Cover, and Active Threat/Active Killer, while other scenarios focus on broader skills including de-escalation, less lethal and marksmanship.

For agencies with a bigger classroom and personnel, the V-300® is the best simulator choice. Its five screens and 300-degree fully immersive training environment ensures time spent in the simulator translates into real-world survival skills. Each scenario surrounds the officer on every side, forcing them to keep their heads on a swivel while learning how to properly interact with the subjects.

Practicing after this manner allows officers to practice skills that need to be refreshed or expounded on. Immersing oneself in a simulator is a great way to practice in a real-world environment while in the safety of a classroom.

V-Marksmanship™ Simulation Training

The V-Marksmanship program is found on every simulator, providing range training without the actual range. This program helps officers who do not have the time to travel to the range, or on days when weather does not permit the best training. Instead, officers can brush up on their marksmanship skills in the comfort of their training room.

In addition to providing a safe and convenient environment, the V-Marksmanship program allows instructors to choose from a variety of targets and courses that are difficult to duplicate elsewhere. Now, officers can train in any weather condition—high wind, heavy fog, snow, etc.—with any combination of targets—pepper poppers, Ivans, etc.

To further increase skill building and transfer, VirTra’s patented recoil kits allow officers to train using their personal duty weapons. Upon adding the drop-in laser recoil kit and CO2 magazine, officers can fully interact with the simulator in a realistic manner.

V-Author® Customizable Training

If there is a specific perishable skill an instructor wants to train on, the V-Author program makes this possible. Instructors can create and edit scenarios customized to any objective or unique department need, thus providing more freedom and less limitation in training.

To begin, instructors upload an image of their local environment or select an image from VirTra’s library. After, characters are added and programmed to behave in certain ways. Upon exporting, trainees can practice their skills in the scenario. Whether your department wants to increase de-escalation training or judgmental use of force, instructors can create scenarios and increase training in that area.


Seasoned officers must refresh valuable skills such as de-escalation, judgmental use of force and less lethal. After all, these critical skills may save their lives and the lives of the civilians they protect. The best way to keep these skills sharp is to practice often in a physically and psychologically realistic setting. Contact a VirTra specialist to learn more.

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