As every instructor knows, effectively training officers—meaning, they are well-rounded and prepared for any circumstance that may occur in the field—is a difficult task. Now, with the world fighting COVID-19 and the increased safety regulations for all, an instructor’s job just became more difficult.

One of the most effective and discussed safety tips is maintaining social distancing of 6 feet. However, this is incredibly difficult to follow while training large groups of trainees. Instructors are forced to find bigger facilities, train in smaller groups or find another alternative. Either way, every training program has been changed by the pandemic.

Utilizing Training Technology

Fortunately, instructors have access to high-end technology to maintain social distancing while still providing reliable and incredibly effective training. One of the best training methods is an immersive training simulator, such as the V-300®, which uses high-resolution video and branching options to provide this realistic training. Persons shown on screen are professional actors and real animals, providing the highest in physical and psychological fidelity.

Training Face-to-Face

Another reason simulation training is especially beneficial at this time is how officers can see the subjects on screen—the videoed characters do not have to wear masks, gloves or face shields. This allows officers to still learn to recognize subtle facial features and body cues while staying safe. Seeing facial features is especially important when covering critical training lessons, such as Autism Awareness—a V-VICTA™ curriculum that teaches officers how to recognize and properly respond to these individuals.

After all, can you teach subtle cues that indicate the individual has autism spectrum disorder or a mental illness if their body is covered in masks and gloves? Training with coverings becomes difficult and can form training scars down the road.

Repeatable Training

By training with digital subjects and environments, the stimuli are repeatable. This is especially beneficial for instructors who decide to train a larger number of smaller classes to follow social distancing regulations. All simulated actors, conditions and visuals will not alter from performance to performance, allowing each group of officers to receive the same training as the previous group.

Simulation training also makes it easier for instructors to sit down and organize training times and curriculum, knowing that there is no need to gather and approve role players, safety officers and locations.

Train in Situations or the Range

Simulation technology also promotes social distancing measures with range training. Each VirTra simulator is equipped with V-Marksmanship®, a simulated firing range complete with customizable weather, light and stance options. Instructors have a peace of mind knowing officers are receiving accurate training, as VirTra’s ballistic calculator is independently verified up to 2,500M.

In addition to promoting social distancing, VirTra’s range training also eliminates the hassle of traveling to ranges, cost of ammunition and social distancing from other personnel who may be at the range.

For more advice on training in a socially-distant manner with VirTra’s simulators, contact a specialist.