High-Risk Vehicle Stop Training

Certified High-Risk Traffic Stop Training for Police Officers, Sheriffs and Deputies

At the end of potentially violent events—such as pursuits—officers may have to engage in a high-risk vehicle stop (HRVS). However, do your officers know the correct tactics to engage in? They may remember the correct steps while in a classroom setting, but how about in the field during a stress-inducing event?

VirTra’s high-risk vehicle stop training is nationally-certified curriculum improves officers’ skills long-term, making the information easily accessible even when the officer is overwhelmed and highly stressed. The principles taught in this high-risk traffic stop training curriculum keep officers, their partners and nearby citizens safe from harm as officers learn to rely on good judgment and verbal communication. After all, half the battle is knowing how to read a scene, properly assess the situation and react accordingly with confidence—especially in dangerous and potentially life-threatening events.

Science-Based High-Risk Vehicle Stop Training

Research-proven Tactics Maximize Training Time

The High-Risk Vehicle Stop training curriculum is nationally-certified and is designed to be used with VirTra’s science-based simulators for the best learning. With high-risk traffic stop training, instructors receive 6.5 training hours through a 37-page lesson plan, 58-slide presentation, class evaluation forms, tests, corresponding realistic video scenarios and more. These assets work in tandem to teach:

• Proper verbal skills to ensure the exit of the driver and passenger(s)
• Making appropriate force decisions during an HRVS
• Pre-stop procedures
• Officer body and vehicle positions
• Clearing the vehicle
• And more

After engaging in classroom instruction, officers can practice their new-found skills in VirTra’s realistic simulator. VirTra offers multiple high-risk traffic stop training scenarios that allow officers to put into practice what they have learned—helping instructors oversee skill development and minimize training scars from the get-go.

In the simulator, vehicles are positioned and accurate per officer’s perspective on-screen so trainees can use real 3D props like a chair to sit as if they were actually sitting within the police cruiser. Each traffic stop scenario has multiple branching options—such as the subject surrendering or firing their gun—which are chosen based off the trainee’s choices or instructor’s decision. This way, trainees can see the consequences of their decisions within a safe, controlled environment.

A Sneak Peek Into High-Risk Vehicle Stop Training

See How Scenarios Work and Branch During Training

One of the most effective VirTra high-risk traffic stop training scenarios is titled “High-Risk – Driver with Gun”. How it works is simple: trainees begin by sitting in a chair close to the cruiser on the screen (like the image above). Then, the instructor fires up the scenario, which shows an armed subject in the car. From here, the real training begins! Officers can practice de-escalation, communication, commanding, etc. Depending on the officer’s actions, the instructor can choose the scenario to branch—for example, having the subject either toss their keys out of their door, or opening the car door and holding up their gun. Whether your agency’s protocol is to instruct the subject to walk backwards, put hands behind their head or layout prone, all these options are built into the scenarios allowing you to train the way your protocol requires.

This is a perfect method of teaching in a safe environment while showing trainees the consequences of their actions. If the officer was practicing perfect de-escalation tactics, instructors could have chosen for the driver to comply with all commands. But if the officer is escalating the situation or missing subtle cues, instructors of the high-risk vehicle stop training can program the situation to end with the driver escalating the situation further.

While seemingly simple on the surface, in actuality, “High-Risk – Driver with Gun” has dozens of branching options in addition to the few mentioned here. Training using a powerful simulator with equally powerful scenarios ensures officers receive increased training, even when engaging in the same situation repeatedly.

Why Our High-Risk Traffic Stop Training Curriculum Saves Lives

Real-World Examples to Prepare Future Officers

Officers who have been in the field for 20+ years may remember the Deputy Kyle Dinkheller event when it first occurred. Officers and trainees since then may have heard this story used in training. On January 12, 1998, Deputy Dinkheller made a traffic stop with driver Andrew Brannan. Brannan spent time walking outside his vehicle, taunting Dinkheller to shoot him, before returning to his truck to grab a M1 rifle which he used to kill the deputy.

This event has been covered in detail. Dinkheller’s patrol car dashcam recorded the entire incident and documentaries have been since produced to describe the event and surrounding circumstances. It is a great teaching tool—showing the importance of officer survival training—and a grim reminder of what can happen in the field if an officer is caught off guard. The Dinkheller case and similar events were used to inspire this high-risk vehicle stop training to ensure officers are prepared for any and all events in the field.

Nationally Certified Officer Curriculum

Certified Curriculum Ensures Best High-Risk Traffic Stop Training and Skill Transfer

Curriculum can be the difference between a good officer and a great officer. To ease the instructor’s workload while simultaneously providing the best training materials, VirTra went through the effort of having our high-risk vehicle stop training (HRVS) curriculum nationally-certified through IADLEST. IADLEST’s National Certification Program sets the POST training standard for 36+ states and works to improve training nationwide.

By having high-risk traffic stop training both POST approved and nationally-certified, departments automatically receive training hours when the curriculum is taught. Whether this curriculum is used to help veterans brush up on their skills or teach trainees the foundation, the HRVS V-VICTA™ curriculum effectively prepares law enforcement members for potentially dangerous traffic stops.

V-VICTA—VirTra’s Virtual Interactive Coursework Training Academy—oversees all nationally-certified curriculum, including High Risk Vehicle Stops. Other certified curricula within the V-VICTA program include: Human Factors in Use of Force Encounters, De-Escalation, Mental Illness: A Practical Approach, and more. All V-VICTA curriculum is free with every law enforcement simulator, saving departments ample man-hours and thousands of dollars.

To learn more about high-risk vehicle stop training and other V-VICTA curriculum, contact a VirTra specialist.