Posted on Dec. 3, 2020 by Mike Clark

“Reality” is the key to Simulated Event training. The VirTra V-300® simulator is an incredibly immersive device that allows us to go places that other training venues cannot provide. Not every LE agency operates in the same environment. From inner city to rural, from courtrooms to open desert, other V-300 system allows for training in environments where officers and agents actually work by using panoramic pictures taken from your own areas of responsibility. As trainers, we realize that in order to gain value from training, simulations must be realistic, relevant and relatable to what officers are likely to encounter.

Our system allows trainers to identify patterns that may show training strengths or deficiencies in their agency’s use of force case files. For years as a trainer, I would log into our use of force database to find incidents that could have gone either to the officer’s or suspect’s advantage. These make the best training experiences in my opinion because as LEOs we love to imagine how we would have handled things differently than the officer involved. Building scenarios around events like this give others the opportunity to see things that they may not have had privy to as they played the scenario out in their mind’s eye. Then, think about the reasonable officer standard and consider how they resolved the problem having been through the same or similar incident.

One area in which I sometimes see trainers fall short is in the creation of realism in their scenarios. Let’s face it; it’s easy for role players to get bored and start to get “creative” as the training day goes on. Usually this results in unrealistic die sequences or interactions with student officers that would not normally occur in field conditions. The result being that student officers lose focus on the terminal objective and end up just going through the motions or worse, injuring themselves or their role player because they couldn’t gain compliance.

A realistic professional simulated event training scenario allows for real learning to happen and leaves your student with confidence in his abilities and in the abilities of his training cadre to instruct. In my agency being an instructor is a highly coveted and sought-after position. If instructors make training day a clown show, they are showing their students that they don’t care for them professionally. Yes, your student officers are evaluating you and your staff as they work through their training day. At the end of the day they are either leaving with a feeling of accomplishment and a winning mindset or feeling like you wasted their day. Believe it or not, your students do talk amongst themselves.

Keep it real!

Mike Clark
Law Enforcement Subject Matter Expert

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