There are key phrases that we hear in law enforcement training and culture. These include “I got your six” “watch your six” or “check your six.” These are referencing the importance of being able to look behind you at the 6 o’clock position to keep yourself safe and not get ambushed from behind. This “checking six” could be done by you by keeping your head “on a swivel” or by a partner who is “covering your six.”
These phrases are embedded in the vernacular of law enforcement and the military. Why is this the case? Because history has shown the attack we don’t see coming is the one that is going to take us out. By getting in the habit of “checking 6” we can negate the danger that resides in attacks from behind. These are an overwhelming threat, which needs to be addressed and trained for. With this principle being so critical to officer safety, why do we do such a horrible job training for them?
I have watched what Pat McNamara has called range theatrics – or what others have called the range dance. Where after a live-fire string we do a ‘body-turn, head-turn’ pretending to “check six” but don’t see anything. I have held up large printed cards and fingers and asked folks after their dance to tell me what they saw. I have held up fingers to see if they can identify the number and which ones are up. The universal answer is, “what do you mean?” The reason for this answer is that they don’t actually “see” anything. When it came to the fingers it was usually one held up and you can imagine which one based on the lack of situational awareness ability demonstrated.
This same thing can happen with single-screen training simulators. If not used properly, with a single-screen system, you are running the risk of building in training scars. The concept that we “don’t rise to the occasion, we default to our lowest level of training” has to be evaluated in this light. If we are creating emotional states inside the simulation (and we should be) yet we are not engaging in physical and mental skills we need in the real world, we could be creating failure points.
Single-screen systems are insanely difficult to create reverse angles on – not impossible, but difficult. The minimum standard to ensure this task can be done with high fidelity is a 180-degree system. This allows for that reverse angle to be threatened and the need to “check six.” You can create points of reference that requires the participant’s scan behavior by using simulated doors and windows taped off in a single-screen room, but that is not high fidelity. VirTra knew the value of a multiscreen system over 20 years ago – despite naysayers arguing that it was “too much” and “unnecessary.” VirTra pushed the training principle anyway.
I get it – most agencies will buy a single screen system and be thrilled they are running their judgmental shoot or weapon transitions. It is not bad to train with them if you are short on space, but it does not take much more room to set up a 180-degree high-quality simulator and force these angles. When it comes to purchasing a 180-degree or 300-degree system, I have heard the arguments on cost as well. VirTra offers a STEP program where access to the simulator is subscription-based and not a large capital purchase. This STEP program allows much access to a high-fidelity 180-degree/300-degree simulator for a lower starting point.
You can find space, even pairing up and hosting it with a research institute. There are ways to make high-quality high-fidelity 180-degree or ideally 300-degree simulators affordable, which are amazing training tools. They can be used for active threat/active killer (ATAK), TASER training, de-escalation, VirTra is here to make it affordable with the STEP program, because we got your six (IGY6)!
For more information on the STEP program, our content or our simulators, Contact Us.
Back in early 2019, VirTra launched the revolutionary program: STEP. The STEP program—VirTra’s Subscription Training and Equipment Partnership—is the industry’s only simulation subscription deployment plan that saves money while increasing access to better training.
The program is simple: departments first select a simulator that fits their needs. Then, instructors can customize the order with various accessories and training tools. After working with a sales specialist, the department is then set up with a monthly payment plan that is based off the equipment they ordered.
By organizing this program, VirTra found a way to save departments plenty of training money. However, the monthly installments are not the only benefit to STEP:
The STEP program goes above and beyond to set agencies up for success. To show our dedication, all maintenance, service, support, scenarios and updates are included in the monthly STEP price. As such, VirTra ensures your officers receive comprehensive and effective training year-round with the latest technology and scenarios provided as soon as they are ready for distribution!
In addition to keeping your training program up-to-date, this keeps your training technology up-to-date. Training with obsolete, outdated equipment can create training scars while leaving room for potential lawsuits. Instead, with STEP, trainees receive the whole package: constantly updated technology and training methods for the best, well-trained officers.
In addition to saving money in a training simulator—by offering a monthly subscription instead of large, upfront capital cost—VirTra’s accessories save money in other aspects. One of the most noticeable is our recoil kit and CO2 magazine combination. The drop-in laser recoil kit allows trainees to use their personal firearms—saving cost by reducing the need for non-guns—while the CO2 magazine eliminates the need for live rounds in training.
Currently, each round of 9mm ammo costs $0.90 for civilians, yet not much cheaper for agencies. But with CO2, the cost is dramatically reduced to $0.02 per shot. Whether your officers are training in marksmanship or scenarios, every time they pull the trigger, your department saves up to a dollar. How quickly does this add up in one minute of firing, or five or ten? Then with a single trainee or half the department?
VirTra is dedicated to our customers. We understand that money may be tight, that budgets may be questioned and that funds may not be guaranteed. In order to help provide high-end training for all, the STEP program was created and improved. To learn more or to start building your customized training solution, contact a VirTra specialist.
Law enforcement agencies around the country are receiving budget cuts or defunding, and therefore looking for ways to decrease spending. There is one aspect that should absolutely not be skimped on, however, and that is officer training.
Just like the saying goes, “you get what you pay for.” Chances are, if a judgmental use of force or de-escalation training solution is inexpensive and sounds too good to be true – it probably is. This sentiment is especially true for simulators, which come in all types, configurations, and of course, prices. When looking for the right training solution for your officers, going for the inexpensive option is likely putting your department at a disadvantage. Improper training can lead to lawsuits that would be much more expensive, and also reputation-damaging.
VirTra offers options for law enforcement agencies that struggle to pay outright for a simulator. We understand that not every department is equipped for a large upfront purchase, but we believe a price tag cannot be put on the value of superior immersive training.
VirTra’s Subscription Training and Equipment Partnership (S.T.E.P.) is designed to be similar to a lease – allowing for monthly, quarterly or annual subscriptions rather than making an outright purchase. Your simulator and equipment will be kept up-to-date with new content and software updates as part of the agreement.
If at any point you are dissatisfied within the initial 12 months of the program, VirTra will cancel the subscription and pick up the training simulator and equipment with no fuss. We are confident this will not be the case, as we allow for complete package customization from everything to the number of screens to the type of content received, thus fitting every department’s needs
If you are familiar with the purchasing process in your city, county or department, you have likely heard of or applied for training grants. The application process can be tiring and it’s not always easy to find the perfect one that fits your agency’s needs.
By partnering with PoliceGrantsHelp, VirTra has created a Guide to Grants Funding that helps you get started on applying for federal, state and local grants. Not only will you get assistance looking for the right grant to apply for, but also help with the process of applying.
By taking some of the measures above, you can purchase or lease an effective use-of-force simulator without hurting your budget. For questions about any of the above information, contact a product specialist here.
Currently, law enforcement departments are facing increasingly heavier workloads, officers are dealing with more duties and agencies nationwide are finding themselves under more scrutiny. So how are instructors expected to properly prepare officers in preparation for the field and with heavy community inspection? While this is a difficult task, it is not impossible.
Instructors can utilize state-of-the-art training equipment, such as VirTra’s immersive police training simulators, to train officers in a variety of critical skills. For law enforcement, all simulators are equipped with nationally-certified curriculum known as V-VICTA—on topics ranging from crisis de-escalation to mental illness to contact and cover concepts—for free. In addition to critical curriculum, these simulators promote well-rounded training.
Each police firearms simulator is a powerful, versatile training tool. Imagine the ability to train in a variety of environments without having to leave the classroom. Upon stepping into the simulator, will your officers find themselves in a domestic dispute in a neighborhood? A fight in an empty parking lot? The edge of a hiking trail with a suicidal man? Just as the environments are extensive, so are the skills learned from each scenario.
After entering the simulator, officers become fully immersed in their surroundings. Instructors can watch as the officer quickly responds to threats, body language or subtle facial cues on the screen just as they would in the field.
To increase the training realism, VirTra offers a range of less lethal tools that pair with each simulator. Law enforcement can be equipped with and deploy Axon®’s TASER® and OC spray in the simulator to prepare for situations that require less lethal options while practicing de-escalation. Together, these less lethal options help round out any use of force training program.
Besides versatility and realism, police simulators are also cost-effective for departments. VirTra offers the STEP program—Subscription Training and Equipment Partnership—to ease worries about large upfront expenses or obsolete equipment. Rather than purchasing the equipment, the STEP program provides the customizable and immersive training solution through a monthly subscription. All maintenance, service, support, scenarios and updates are included to provide the best, most up-to-date training for departments nationwide.
Other significant cost savings come from ranges, bullets and actors—or rather, the lack thereof. Instead of spending time and money carting officers to the range, instructors can utilize the V-Marksmanship program to train on a variety of targets and courses difficult to replicate elsewhere. By training on the simulator, departments only need CO2 for the CO2 magazines, not the expensive bullets. Or when going through scenarios, all actors are on-screen, thus eliminating the need to find, train and use different actors.
A common practice for VirTra customers is to host a “Media Day.” These are opportunities for reporters and/or community members to visit the department and watch officers go through various real-life situations—or experience the simulator for themselves.
Oftentimes, reporters and citizens are excited to engage in the simulator and interact with the high-end technology. However, it soon becomes apparent that these judgmental use of force simulators are not toys, but rather incredibly realistic, stress-inducing training environments.
One recent example of a media day is the Orange County Sheriff’s Office opening their simulator to members of OCSO’s African American and Hispanic Citizens Advisory Committee. Before stepping into the simulator, citizens were given a TASER and firearm outfitted with a recoil kit and CO2 magazine. After brief instructions, members had to engage in the scenario and try to de-escalate or mitigate harm as much as possible.
After experiencing the simulator, Orlando Mayor’s Municipal Labor Committee Commission member Reggie McGill said, “It’s nothing like what you see on television. I thought it would be much easier. Each one of you put your life on the line trying to protect others, so I have a greater appreciation for OPD after experiencing this personally.”
By experiencing these difficult situations, the public can receive a better understanding on what life in the field is like. It is a rare chance to walk in an officer’s shoes in a safe, controlled environment. Departments who are interested in hosting their own media day can contact VirTra’s marketing department at firstname.lastname@example.org
VirTra’s state-of-the-art de-escalation and judgmental use of force training simulators are an incredible benefit to departments everywhere. Instructors can benefit from nationally-certified coursework and a variety of scenarios. Departments benefit from a cost-effective training solution that promotes skill growth and transfer. Officers benefit from well-rounded training and better preparation for the field. Lastly, the community benefits from better officers and increased understanding of police life. To learn more about these immersive simulators, contact a VirTra specialist.
TEMPE, Ariz. — June 13, 2019 — VirTra, Inc. (NASDAQ: VTSI) (“VirTra”), a global provider of training simulators for the law enforcement, military, educational and commercial markets, will be exhibiting at the upcoming 2019 NSA Annual Conference, which is being held June 15-18, 2019 in Louisville, KY. The 2019 National Sheriffs’ Association Education and Technology Expo showcases the best technology and education available to a network of thousands of sheriffs across the country.
At the Expo, VirTra will demo new V-VICTA (VirTra-Virtual Interactive Coursework Training Academy) scenarios and exercises in the company’s flagship V-300LE (V-300 Law Enforcement) simulator. V-VICTA programs are the only mode of simulation training that meets the standards set forth by the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training (IADLEST). The V-300 was the first five-screen simulator introduced to the market in 2004, and it remains the industry standard for decision-making simulation and tactical firearms training.
VirTra will also introduce new offerings for its Subscription Training Equipment and Partnership (STEP) program at the expo. STEP, which VirTra launched in January 2019, is the industry’s only simulation subscription deployment plan. STEP allows law enforcement agencies to train with VirTra’s programs and equipment in a more flexible and economical manner than previously available. Under the program, agencies may subscribe to VirTra’s certified coursework and unique training scenarios in either monthly or annual installments.
“The 2019 NSA Conference provides us with a unique opportunity to showcase our full suite of products and to demonstrate their capabilities to a large number of industry experts,” said Jason Mulcahy, VirTra General Manager. “The combination of our multi-screen, judgmental use of force simulators, our certified curriculum, our patented Threat-Fire® device, and our recoil kits creates a realistic and immersive environment that is unparalleled in the industry. This combination is unique in its ability to improve the accuracy, communication skills, and overall efficacy of law enforcement officers. We believe our current suite of products is our most effective to date, and we look forward to the opportunity to demo it at NSA.”
To see how the V-300LE pairs with VirTra’s V-VICTA coursework and STEP program, please stop by booth #329 for a brief demo or visit step.virtra.com.
VirTra (NASDAQ: VTSI) is a global provider of training simulators for the 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 practical and highly-effective virtual reality and simulator technology. Learn more about the company at www.VirTra.com.
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Matt Glover or Charlie Schumacher
Earlier this year a police captain, much like yourself, needed to compare several options to get some new use of force training set up for his team. The first option gave him an okay law enforcement training system for one hot button topic, and the other had a cheap price but lacked the quality that he was hoping to get. Then there was a third simulator option that gave him a way to have BOTH the quality training his team needed and a reasonable price that he could predict for the entire year’s budget. It also didn’t hurt that great quality training was also certified by IADLEST to help his team stay out of the press for “failure to train.” Now, this might sound like hogwash, but this really happened, and now that entire agency is getting the training they need, with the quality they deserve at a price that won’t slow them down.
Before now, this option would not have been available, but with the help of the S.T.E.P. Program from VirTra, this crazy notion is now a reality. With the introduction of VirTra’s Subscription Training & Equipment Partnership (S.T.E.P.)their training department now has access to the right combination of training they need to perform under pressure in the field. After starting a partnership with VirTra for their training, one police captain said:
“The S.T.E.P. program allows departments to rent the VirTra system on an annual basis, which is perfect for government entities due to our yearly budget cycles. We never know exactly what our budget lines will be from year to year, so it’s very difficult to commit to multi-year or large scale purchases.”-Capt. Jody Hayes West Des Moines Iowa Police Dept.
This new approach to training is paving the way to elevate law enforcement training to an entirely new level of expectation. To help make the transition easy, VirTra has outlined our new subscription option to be as easy as one, two, three. Here is more information on how you can take advantage today:
S.T.E.P. is available on a subscription basis designed to fit your budget best. Choose from monthly, quarterly, or annual subscriptions. There are also customization programs that work for any law enforcement agencies budget. *Guaranteed.
S.T.E.P. allows you to customize your package to fit your training needs and your budget. Choose from our complete library of options with the equipment, training solutions and tools that help you team best:
With 25 years of experience under our belts, VirTra has created a program that can withstand the rigors of high-training usage. S.T.E.P. customers also have access to the industry’s largest and best trained support staff whose mission is to keep your training program operating at its prime.
This new subscription option is designed to let your agency take advantage of the many benefits when utilizing simulation training. By getting more officers through training, and each of them having better retention of the training material, your team will be set up for success in the field. With renting the equipment instead, there is no reason to worry about the system degrading or becoming obsolete because VirTra takes care of the equipment and updates for the length of the partnership. The reduced capital outlay as a new way to get the approval you need versus having to wait a year or more is a key differentiator when selecting a complete solution. So, it’s really that simple to elevate your training program: agree to partner, customize, and get started. Click here to get your free assessment today, and you can take your training program a S.T.E.P. in the right direction.
* Guarantee – If your department isn’t completely satisfied within the initial 12 months of use, VirTra will cancel the contract and pick-up the equipment – no questions asked.
TEMPE, Ariz. — March 5, 2019 — VirTra, Inc. (NASDAQ: VTSI), a global provider of training simulators for law enforcement, military, educational and commercial markets, has officially launched its Subscription Training & Equipment Partnership™ (STEP) program for government agencies.
The addition of STEP to VirTra’s business model allows agencies to utilize VirTra’s unique, certified, simulation training on a subscription basis. The subscription model lowers the barrier to entry for law enforcement agencies with more restricted budgets, thereby potentially increasing VirTra’s total addressable market, and has the potential to substantially increase VirTra’s recurring revenue. This new model, when combined with VirTra’s traditional, hardware-centric sales model through distribution channels, provides the company with greater flexibility to cater to the market’s needs and customer preferences.
STEP enables agencies to benefit from VirTra’s systems, software, interactive coursework, training academy, and accessories in a more cost-effective manner than previously offered. STEP provides a comprehensive and customizable training solution to law enforcement departments of all sizes and is the industry’s only subscription-based law enforcement training program of its kind.
“From the development of the certified interactive coursework to the refinement of the logistics and distribution system, the past 18 months have been a tremendous collaborative effort by our team, strategic partners, and industry experts, which is made manifest today by the official launch of our STEP program,” said Jason Mulcahy, General Manager of VirTra, Inc. “The STEP program provides agencies an immediate path to train with the industry’s best, at an affordable price point, and without the uncertainties that a large capital purchase decision can induce. We’ve already begun selling STEP to eager customers, and I am encouraged to report that the initial reaction is extremely positive. We expect to continue to see positive reviews and benefits to our overall business as we ramp up our sales efforts of the new program.”
The STEP program enables more departments to sustain a long-term training program for the perishable skills critical to law enforcement and public safety by offering VirTra’s effective training solutions on a monthly, quarterly or annual subscription basis. STEP provides options to drastically reduce up-front costs and allows for quicker deployment, easier upgrades, and more accessibility, all while being highly scalable. STEP alleviates funding and time constraints on agencies and, for many, solves their most pressing and critical training needs while providing a convenient, turnkey solution from a one-stop shop.
Bob Ferris, CEO and Chairman of VirTra, commented: “The launch of STEP is a major milestone for our customers, company, and industry. STEP lowers the barriers to initiate quality, certified training while simultaneously increasing recurring revenue and providing a source for a consistent and predictable revenue stream to VirTra. Through the subscription model, we can put VirTra training solutions in the hands of more agencies, which will substantially expand our total addressable market. Our vision is nothing short of delivering the most effective training that saves and improves the lives of every police officer worldwide, and today’s launch is a major advancement of that mission for both VirTra and the broader law enforcement market.”
STEP is a customizable solution that allows an agency to select a combination of equipment, software training solutions, and tools that best fit its training needs and budget. The options include, but are not limited to:
After selecting the training options that meet its needs, an agency may also partner with VirTra for additional services. The ongoing partnership with VirTra includes dedicated VirTra training coordinators, training courses, additional interactive certified coursework, scenarios, and support maintenance and is offered as a subscription for a minimum of one year. The combination of all these high-tech simulation capabilities will help ensure top-quality training for agencies. To learn more and schedule your VirTra STEP assessment, please visit https://step.virtra.com/.
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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Matt Glover or Charlie Schumacher