On December 13, 2023, a VirTra V-100® public safety training simulator was presented to Atoka Police Department in Tennessee. Atoka PD was selected amongst hundreds of nationwide submissions during the Taskforce Santa project sponsored by VirTra and IADLEST, which provides a deserving law enforcement agency with a simulator they could not obtain otherwise. This simulator will assist Atoka PD and nearby small Tipton County agencies with various training initiatives, including de-escalation, mental health, active shooters, and crisis interventions.

The event that took place after the system’s installation was attended by dozens of people to include Atoka city staff, police officers, and local media. Attendees heard speeches from Police Chief Anthony Rudolph, Atoka Mayor Barry Akin, and VirTra CEO John Givens before viewing a demonstration of de-escalation and mental illness training scenarios.

“This is a monumental step forward in our commitment to excellence in law enforcement training and community engagement,” said Anthony Rudolph, Chief of Atoka Police Department. “The V-100 simulator is not just a tool; it is a catalyst for positive change in how we approach policing in our community.”

The V-100 simulator is a portable single-screen training device designed to replicate real-life situations and encounters.  It comes with less-lethal tools, training pistols, and a vast library of scenarios that all accurately mimic the encounters officers and civilians go through and allows for learning, engaging, communications and after-action debriefs.

There were more than 100 applicants from across the country who hoped to receive a training simulator free of charge. The common theme among each of their stories is a lack of resources that prevented them from being able to purchase one themselves. Applicants and nominees cited a strong desire to elevate their training but were not financially able to do so for various reasons.

Atoka Mayor Barry Akin views his town of Atoka and its officers in a positive light and views the emphasis on training as a historic event for the city stating, “You take a top-notch company with a great product and a top-notch town like Atoka – you’ve got a great partnership.”

CEO John Givens echoed these sentiments, hoping the gift will enhance the town’s safety: “In the true spirit of Christmas, we hope this gift will keep this community and its great officers safer than they are today through realistic training.”

The story brought to VirTra by Atoka PD in their nomination form was moving and heartwarming. They had a clear desire to better their agency and community and listed three great reasons for desiring the technology:

  • Community engagement and education
  • Enhancing officer safety and wellness
  • Mutual aid/collaboration with other small agencies

Hearing the story of what VirTra and IADLEST were providing to Atoka PD, the shipping company Pilot delivered the simulator all the way from Chandler, Arizona, to Atoka, Tennessee at no cost.

VirTra staff are thrilled to have provided the solution that officers of Atoka PD can use as a better training tool to improve their skills and keep their community safe. In the spirit of Christmas and giving, seeing an agency like Atoka PD able to further succeed through the Taskforce Santa gift has brought a smile to many faces.

To read IADLEST’s press release about this award, click here.