It is an incredible story. Recently, the San Francisco Police Crisis Intervention Team 2020 Police Commission Report was published, featuring some attention-grabbing facts and figures. One of the most notable: out of almost 50,000 crisis-related calls for service, San Francisco officers used force only 51 times. Percentage-wise, this is 00.1%—an astronomically low number.

This sort of success comes from many different factors. One attributing factor is the SFPD CIT Unit completing a 20-hour Force Science De-Escalation Course, which is an IADLEST nationally-certified course delivered through two days of instruction. The Force Science Institute offers this, and multiple other certified courses, in their mission to develop and spread high quality, scientifically-grounded education and training.

SFPD’s training department also has a VirTra training simulator. Their department utilizes the V-300®, a 5-screen immersive training environment that takes into account every detail, from the smallest pre-attack indicators to the most cognitive overload stimuli situations imaginable. These simulators offer scenarios containing training in de-escalation, situational awareness, judgmental use of force and other critical topics for the most well-rounded officers.

In addition to numerous training topics, each simulator comes equipped with nationally-certified curriculum, which spans topics such as: autism, mental illness, human factors, high risk vehicle stops and more. Each curriculum is created in conjunction with subject matter experts and nationally-recognized partners, including the Force Science Institute, for the best training possible. VirTra takes these extra steps because other’s modern research and professional insight create more powerful quality teaching materials which officers benefit from.

This is especially true in regards to crisis calls. VirTra’s Mental Illness for Contact Professionals curriculum covers how to recognize and interact with subjects suffering from: anxiety, dementia, depression, PTSD, schizophrenia, traumatic brain injury and more. Knowing what symptoms to look for and knowing the best communication technique for the situation can make all the difference to how the situation ends.

As a result of better training, departments see better officer responses. While the San Francisco Police Crisis Intervention Team’s success is likely due to multiple factors, VirTra is proud to call them a customer and training partner and share their good story along with Force Science Institute. To read the entire article in its entirety, please click here.

To learn more about the V-300 simulator, or our nationally-certified curriculum, please contact a VirTra representative.