An officer’s toolbelt is his lifeline in the field. Depending on the situation, the toolbelt has the answer, holding communication, less lethal and lethal options. However, in order to effectively deploy less lethal tools or chemical agents, officers must be trained in them. Just like with firearms, deploying a less lethal without training opens up departments to unnecessary liability.
However, training with live less lethals quickly becomes expensive. Spent Axon® TASER® cartridges and OC canisters pile up with extensive officer use, along with the cost. Then there are the decontamination and risk of injury concerns. But what’s an agency to do when this training is required?
Less Lethal Simulations
VirTra offers a cost and time-efficient way to train in less lethals—in addition to judgmental use of force, verbal de-escalation, active shooters and more. Law enforcement officers can enter the simulator equipped with TASER and OC spray to train in situations that would require a less lethal option. They can also use our ballistically accurate V-Marksmanship system to hone the mechanics of less-lethal deployment.
Enabling an officer to train using all the tools on their tool belt provides more than an understanding of how to work a less lethal accessory; it provides decision-making training and enhanced realism. The enhanced realism is two-fold, comprising of both physical and psychological fidelity.
The psychological fidelity comes from the officer knowing they can engage in a variety of de-escalation and less lethal options, and the subjects on screen will react accordingly. Instructors can add another element of psychological fidelity by utilizing the patented Threat-Fire® on trainees to increase stress.
As for the physical fidelity, VirTra’s technology allows officers to use their duty weapons and TASER inside the simulator—once they are outfitted with the corresponding drop-in replacement. For example, VirTra’s patent-pending TASER simulation training cartridges are direct drop-in replacements for live cartridges on real Axon X2 and X26P TASERs. See more TASER features here.
As for the OC spray, VirTra offers laser-based OC spray training devices, which are placed in the SABRE®MK3 OC canister. The canister size, weight, activation button pressure and launch angle all match the actual OEM MK3 canister to increase realism while reducing training scars.
By utilizing TASER drop-in replacements and OC training devices, departments can train in less lethal all day without having to throw away a single cartridge.
There are many scenarios designed to teach the implementation of less lethal tools. One scenario is where officers respond to a scene where an emotionally disturbed person (EDP) is holding a knife to his chest and threatening to harm himself and others.
Scenarios like this are effective training tools, as they move beyond simple shoot/don’t shoot situations and prompt skills like scene control, contact and cover concepts and de-escalation. With the EDP scenario, watch as the officers communicate with the subject on screen. After attempts to verbally de-escalate the situation, and after the subject begins to escalate, the officer can use her TASER and the character on screen reacts realistically.
This is what training with VirTra is like. Realistic training with realistic tools in realistic situations.
Learn more about less lethal training and how it can improve your training program while saving money by contacting a VirTra specialist.