When I went through the police academy in the early 90’s, we were taught how to setup for a “felony stop” at the end of a vehicle pursuit. After setting up the squads, we would yell commands such as “remove the keys from the ignition” and “roll down the windows” to the stopped vehicle.

Today, most vehicles don’t use keys to start the car. And, if you have the driver turn off the car before you have them roll down the electric windows, you’ll likely have those windows up for the whole stop.

We’ve also stopped calling it a “felony stop” for a number of reasons. First, just because a crime is a potential felony doesn’t mean it’s a violent offense that would require this type of contact. Second, you don’t need to have a felony in order to perform a high-risk contact. A high-risk vehicle contact should be done whenever there is a higher risk of danger to officers and/or the public. This means it can be used at the end of a pursuit, a stolen vehicle or even a parked suspicious vehicle at a school or playground.

So, what’s the big deal? Looks like a pretty easy thing to setup:  put two squads about 50 feet back from the suspect vehicle in an inverted “V” position and start yelling commands. Right?

While the setup looks fairly simple, it’s the execution that can make all the difference for the officers involved.  For new officers, learning all of the proper commands while maintaining their areas of responsibility can be a daunting task. For veteran officers, this skill can perish rather quickly since high-risk stops typically aren’t done very often. That’s where VirTra’s High-Risk training scenarios can help.

Using these scenarios within the VirTra simulator allows officers to practice under a low-stress environment.  For newer officers, it helps them focus on committing the callouts to memory. The instructor can set the pace of the learning environment based on the officer’s experience and performance.

The High-Risk Stop scenarios allow departments to choose their preferred method of setup positions for the vehicle occupants. Trainers can choose between placing the subjects in the prone position by the vehicle or they can have the occupants walk back into the “cone of darkness” and be setup for proper handcuffing.

When using the VirTra High-Risk Stop scenarios, the officers (students) should be placed in a chair next to the driver or passenger seat of the on-screen squad car. This allows the officer to get the sense of sitting inside of the squad while performing the callouts.

If you want to kick your training up a notch, I suggest getting a squad door from your fleet department or a junk yard. You can easily mount a door on some scrap pieces of lumber and place it inside the simulator against the screen in the same position it would be in the real-world. Doing this allows the officer to place themselves in the correct position of the A-pillar and the door frame while doing the stop.

The High-Risk scenarios that are included in the VirTra training library offer trainers the ability to choose from a classic high-risk stop, a stop where occupants can run, as well as situations involving occupants that will put officers into deadly force situations.

Whatever version of the High-Risk Stop scenario you choose, make sure to be familiar with all of the options available to you as an instructor. The branching for these scenarios is quite extensive, so as to maximize the training opportunities.

Stay safe. Stay dedicated.

This article was written by T.J. Alioto, VirTra Law Enforcement Subject Matter Expert

The next chapter of the recently launched V-VICTA program is here! This new set of scenarios are called High-Risk Vehicle Stop: Communication to Custody (HRVS). The training material covers a 6.5 hours course certified by IADLEST under the V-VICTA Program. Here’s what you can expect to see in these new scenarios once installed on your next annual service trip:

A New Perspective

This new batch of seven scenarios was built with never before seen technology to merge real assets like an actual vehicle into the mix of scenario-based training. The multi-screen simulators have an added unique feature of perspective inside of the squad vehicle. From a seated position or standing behind the squad car inside the simulator, officers can practice proper muzzle discipline and even walk the subjects through the various steps to keep both the officers and subjects safe. You can check out a sneak peek of a scenario in progress in the below video.

Walk Through the Demo

The new HRVS material shown above is ideal for multiple trainees working and communicating together in each situation. With hundreds of paths to resolution, trainees can have various training points and assailants to deal with along the way. The format also allows and encourages short sessions of high yield booster training – interval training methods. As you see the officer clear the vehicle, each person can be arrested by walking them back to you, or prone them out depending on your local standards.

Surprises Around Every Corner

These seven new scenarios offer a unique combination of training points previously unavailable, including what to do when one of the subjects runs from the vehicle. By going through the scenario, students will learn the right way to react when approaching an HRVS and any surprises that might be lurking out of sight from the officer’s perspective. With multiple subjects to deal with at once, other important disciplines will need to be utilized to clear the vehicle successfully. For true to life training, those subjects might be defiant and have ideas on how to get away that trainees will need to provide verbal direction and control to avoid problems. The possibility of an ambush will be enough to keep any trainee on their toes, and with six and half hours of content to train with, trainers can replay the scenario to go through hundreds of branching options for an unmatched training experience.

TEMPE, Ariz. – February 11, 2019 – VirTra, Inc. (NASDAQ: VTSI), a global provider of training simulators for law enforcement, military, educational and commercial markets, has officially launched a new, certified curriculum called High Risk Vehicle Stop (HRVS) under the company’s VirTra-Virtual Interactive Coursework Training Academy™ (V-VICTA). HRVS enables law enforcement agencies to effectively teach, train, test and sustain departmental training requirements. This new and nationally accredited coursework, when combined with the new VirTra Virtual Instructor™ (V-VI) and training scenarios, empowers training departments with immediate training program improvements.

“We launched V-VICTA last fall after years of researching the science of training and assimilating the expertise of our strategic partners and the collective experience of our subject matter experts (SME),” said Lon Bartel, VirTra Senior SME. “HRVS is the latest addition to this certified curriculum, which we believe not only provides the best possible training to law enforcement, but does so in an intuitive and user-friendly manner.”

The HRVS training scenarios leverage new technology that combines real assets such as a vehicle with virtual, scenario-based training. HRVS also includes six and a half hours of curriculum that law enforcement departments can use to safely train for situations that can be difficult to reproduce in other mediums. Branching technology enables trainers to change and manipulate the scene for different outcomes. In these scenarios, trainees can engage multiple assailants from a variety of training points. The combined format allows and encourages short, high-intensity training scenarios, which are uniquely efficient and effective.

Due to complications that arise from roleplaying, traditional means of high-risk vehicle stop training can be labor and resource intensive. VirTra’s HRVS solution provides a safer, more economical, and more efficient alternative to current training methods. When an agency uses the HRVS curriculum, VirTra first provides relevant materials to conduct a classroom overview on the subject, and trainees then engage in dynamic simulation training built around HRVS. As with all V-VICTA coursework, the HRVS classroom materials are provided free of charge to law enforcement agencies with current support plans, using VirTra’s simulators.

Current Law Enforcement training requires each U.S. state to provide certified training for its departments. The newest additions to V-VICTA offer more than 29 hours of IADELST certified content for a variety of training, including Contact and Cover concepts, Human Factors in Force Encounters, Axon® TASER® Targeting, and now High-Risk Vehicle Stops. Additionally, law enforcement agencies that use VirTra’s V-Author™ custom training tool now have the ability to add new characters, props, video transitions, new and dynamic assets and panoramic scenes to their existing system.

In addition to these new features, VirTra also added a new scenario that mirrors the interior of a squad vehicle and allows officers to train from either the driver’s or the passenger’s perspective. This new scenario enables officers to practice proper muzzle discipline from either a seated position inside the vehicle or from a standing position behind it, while inside the VirTra simulator. Officers can then walk a subject through the various steps of a HRVS in a setting that feels realistic but is reviewable, repeatable and ensures the safety of both the officer and subject.

All new scenarios are integrated in each of VirTra’s law enforcement solutions including the V-300LE 300 degree immersive training simulator, the V-180LE and the single screen V-100LE.

For more information about adding the newly released V-VICTA scenarios and simulators into your current VirTra training system, email sales@virtra.com.

About VirTra
VirTra is a global provider of training simulators for law enforcement, military, educational and commercial markets. The Company’s patented technologies, software, and scenarios provide intense training for de-escalation, judgmental use-of-force, marksmanship and related training that mimics real-world situations. VirTra’s mission is to save and improve lives worldwide through realistic and highly-effective virtual reality and simulator technology. Learn more about the company at www.VirTra.com.

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