Posted on Mar. 30, 2017 by VirTra Inc

Virtual reality is now part of Omaha police training.

by Steve Saunders

Wednesday, March 29th 2017 | Original Link

The department now has a simulator that makes things seem like life and death situations, but it’s all computer-generated.

“Sometimes, police officers have to kick doors in,” said officer Matt Austin of the Omaha Police Department.

The new door is just a virtual one. It makes it seem real, but it’s in a simulator.

The screens now wrap around the officer and are meant to put trainees in real life scenarios.

“Consistency is key,” OPD officer William Klees said of the simulator. “When you’re engaged in a circumstance that is stressful, you’re going to rely on training because your cognitive abilities are fundamentally impaired during stressful situations.”

The simulator has all the tools, such as a pistol and pepper spray.

The goal is to make virtual reality feel like the real thing.

FOX 42 reporter Steve Saunders tried it out and said it really did feel like he was in a dangerous situation.

“Our officers, every time they go through this, they experienced elevated heart rate, elevated stress level, they work on their communication skills,” Austin said.

Officers have plans to customize the scenes by inserting photos of buildings and familiar places in the metro.

They say a tool like this goes a long way in keeping the community and Omaha police safe.

Omaha police officials say the virtual training environment cost about $230,000, which came from the department’s own budget.

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