Posted on Sep. 8, 2020 by Christopher Dorch

As new situations arise in society and crime evolves, law enforcement officers need the most powerful, immersive, skill-transferring training possible. To prepare officers for the field, VirTra created simulators that allow them to practice and improve skills ranging from de-escalation to judgmental use of force.

Officers can go through real-life de-escalation scenario training with their entire toolbelt for the most realistic training possible, through the addition of VirTra’s drop-in recoil kits and Axon® TASER® cartridges. But realistic training is more than only realistic accessories; it is the training scenarios themselves.

Training Simulator Branching Options

Each de-escalation training simulator is programmed with a variety of scenarios, each with an average of 85 branching options. By integrating extensive branching options, the event unfolds based on the training objectives and decisions made by the trainee. This ability allows an officer to use communication skills and use of force tactics together.

In addition, by training in a simulator, the skills can be trained and tested repeatedly and consistently year over year.

Training in this manner improves an officer’s cognitive ability. As the officer navigates through the situation, they can practice various de-escalation tactics or learn to look for certain behavioral cues. After, they can take that knowledge and expound on it by practicing the same scenario and trying new strategies in an effort to achieve a better ending.

Learn from Mistakes in a Safe Simulator Environment

Training in a de-escalation simulator allows officer to make mistakes in a safe, controlled environment. Should an officer attempt to de-escalate a situation, but make a mistake or cause it to escalate, the officer can see the situation pan out and learn the consequences of their actions. After the debrief, the officer can attempt the scenario again with the situation set up exactly as before; no need to prep actors or role-players.

“[Simulators] allow for those mistakes to happen and get corrected before they are a problem for the agencies that we train for, and really that’s a huge piece of why we implemented this. We want to improve the training in a way that’s going to allow for those better choices down the road.”


Todd Brophy — Training Specialist and Use of Force Expert

VirTra can improve your department’s de-escalation and judgmental use of force skills. Instructors can take advantage of an average of 85 branching options per scenario to immerse their officers in new situations that unfold based on their actions. Contact a VirTra specialist to learn more.

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