Unfortunately, interactions between officers and the public are not always the simple, straight-forward situations that would make life in the field easier.
This is because we are humans, filled with a variety of emotions. On any given day, a law enforcement officer could interact with a grieving individual who recently lost a family member, an agitated father who was fired from a job or a young activist who strongly opposes the police. The list goes on. Whatever the situation is, conflict can arise at any time in an officer’s career.
To prepare officers for moments like these, VirTra partnered with Vistelar to create nationally-certified de-escalation curriculum. VirTra and Vistelar scripted out a list of scenarios equipped with an extensive amount of branching options to allow it to end in de-escalation. VirTra is maximizing de-escalation training by adding V-VICTA De-Escalation curriculum along with the training simulations to practice what you learn in the classroom before you go through real-life scenarios.
This curriculum is designed to teach officers how to work through conflicts verbally while recognizing and learning from facial, body and micro-expressions. This recently NCP-certified curriculum includes:
• 4 hours of curriculum
• 5 information-rich chapters
• 6 scenarios with extensive branching options
• A 38-page lesson plan
• A 35-slide presentation
VirTra’s De-Escalation program is the ONLY nationally-certified third-party de-escalation program by a simulation company.
As mentioned above, not every situation is created equal. As such, there are certain situations an officer will not be able to resolve through de-escalation.
However, if the situation allows, a law enforcement officer can utilize their de-escalation simulation training to reduce the chances of force being used. The type of de-escalation will depend on the situation—one instance may require giving the individual more space or time, while other situations are better resolved with a softer approach or reducing surrounding stimuli. When incorporated correctly, de-escalation tactics may prevent escalation while potentially reducing harm.
Officers have had the term “de-escalation” drilled into their minds by academies, department training and now the media. However, law enforcement know that de-escalation is not easily defined nor is it as simple as it is made out to be. Instead, VirTra covers all aspects of de-escalation through a detailed lesson plan, pre-test, post-test, scoring rubric and a multitude of law enforcement training scenarios that combine simulated learning with Vistelar’s conflict management tactics.
A sample of the concepts covered in VirTra’s curriculum include:
• Being alert and decisive
• Responding, not reacting
• Treating with dignity by showing respect
By integrating extensive branching options into each law enforcement training simulator, the event unfolds based on the training objectives and the decisions made by the trainee. This ability allows an officer to use communication skills and practice while under stress, which can then be trained and tested repeatedly and consistently.
For example, one of VirTra’s scenarios— “Bridge Baby”—is a student officer on patrol, when they are flagged down by a hysterical mother explaining her husband took their baby and is threatening to hurt the child.
This scenario forces the training officer to confront the father and try to de-escalate the situation. Depending on how the officer interacts with the subject on-screen, instructors can choose to have the subject provide more information, show extreme agitation or calmly cooperate. This scenario also requires the trainee officer to confront and de-escalate a fellow officer who appears on the scene, causing the man on the bridge to become more agitated.
Through VirTra’s de-escalation curriculum and scenarios, officers learn how to interpret a situation, keep their head on a swivel, properly interact with subjects, call for CIT or proper back up, and de-escalate a situation in a safe, controlled environment. Learn more about VirTra’s nationally-certified de-escalation curriculum by contacting a VirTra specialist.
Every law enforcement officer has heard of de-escalation. It is always involved in police training and is what the public expects police to use whenever possible. Although it is not a guaranteed solution, it is something that officers are constantly reminded of and expected to be proficient in.
De-escalation involves diffusing a situation, particularly if a subject(s) is agitated. Sometimes a person or situation may need to be de-escalated as soon as the interaction begins, but there are times where escalation can be prevented altogether. This is referred to as “non-escalation” – taking control of a situation before it escalates.
VirTra has partnered with Vistelar, a company dedicated to conflict management training across the workplace spectrum – from the office to the front lines. This partnership helped form the V-VICTA™ De-Escalation training curriculum, which provides contact professionals with tips and tricks as well as practice within a VirTra simulator.
A large portion of VirTra’s scenarios can be entirely verbal and based around de-escalation with no need to even reach for a firearm or less-lethal. Sometimes non-escalation is used as well, meaning a subject may appear calm, but the wrong words trigger a violent reaction. This helps law enforcement professionals recognize how to approach a situation for the best outcome.
Vistelar teaches several tactics that contribute to non-escalation. Although no non- or de-escalation techniques are guaranteed to work in every situation, these are designed to help officers show respect when it is deserved.
• Treat with Dignity – Use empathy, listen and anticipate their needs. (Remember: Respect must be earned!)
• Respond, Don’t React – Thoughtfully respond rather than impulsively react; take verbal or physical action only when necessary.
• Showtime Mindset – Align all elements of your communication with the situation at hand.
• Proxemics – Keep in mind your distance between yourself and the person you are interacting with. Be non-threatening and remember to stay back if you feel unsafe.
• Universal Greeting – To let a person know who you are and why you are there, introduce yourself and your affiliation, then give the reason for contact.
• Beyond Active Listening – In the presence of conflict, active listening isn’t enough. Go beyond that by clarifying, reflecting, advocating and other techniques that will allow for better empathy.
It is important to reiterate that these are not foolproof solutions and neither are de-escalation tools. Although it would be wonderful if they worked each time, every situation is unique and may require different strategies. Vistelar’s guidelines and suggestions should assist officers in their communication and empathy skills, therefore leading to a higher chance of successful interaction closures.
For more information on de-escalation and other V-VICTA curriculum, contact a product specialist.
Phoenix-Based Training Simulator and Milwaukee-Based Conflict Response Training Companies Join Forces in Milwaukee, WI From June 9th to the 12th
TEMPE, Ariz. — June 10, 2019 — VirTra, Inc. (NASDAQ: VTSI) (“VirTra”), a global provider of training simulators for the law enforcement, military, educational and commercial markets, is exhibiting at the upcoming IADLEST 2019 annual conference, which is being held June 9-12, 2019 in Milwaukee, WI at the Pfister Hotel.
The IADLEST (International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training) conference focuses on the most critical issues for law enforcement training executives, managers and staff and showcases these parties’ mutual commitment to improving law enforcement training standards. The issues highlighted include bridging the gaps among training, performance and certification standards.
VirTra, alongside its new partner Vistelar, will debut newly-created non-escalation, de-escalation, and crisis intervention training scenarios, which are focused on improving officer and citizen safety. This new communication training uses simulators to more effectively teach police officers how to prevent conflict and calm situations that have the potential to escalate.
Depending on the way the situation is handled, the scenario can end peacefully or escalate, in which case, the trainee may be required to de-escalate the situation with less-than-lethal use of force. The Department of Justice defines “de-escalation” as “the strategic slowing down of an incident in a manner that allows officers more time, distance, space and tactical flexibility during dynamic situations on the street.” With the help of Vistelar, this new training will provide officers an opportunity to build the appropriate communication skills and patience required as they wait for backup to arrive.
“One of our strategies to advance our scenarios and coursework has been to partner with industry experts and leverage their knowledge and skillsets to bring the quality of our training to the next level,” said Jason Mulcahy, General Manager, VirTra. “By partnering with Vistelar, we’re able to deliver conflict-response training based on the methodologies outlined in several books and manuals in Vistelar’s Conflict in Conflict series, which have been proven in real-world environments for over thirty years. With these enhancements, the V-VICTA curriculum continues to set the industry standard for providing agencies with the certified training programs they need with advanced, interactive, simulation tools.”
Gary Klugiewicz, a founder of Vistelar, commented: “We are excited about this partnership with VirTra because the use of their systems will enable us to take Vistelar’s live training programs, with our emphasis on ‘fire drills versus fire talks,’ to a whole new level. VirTra is known in the industry for creating the highest quality simulation products for use-of-force and de-escalation training. We believe their systems are a perfect complement to our mission, and we look forward to the mutual benefits our organizations will receive as we work in tandem.”
During the conference, VirTra will showcase its V-VICTA training scenarios, which are the only IADLEST Certified Curriculum available with simulation training. V-VICTA has over 30 hours of new certified training curriculum that comes with each law enforcement simulator that VirTra delivers. Randy Revling, a Vistelar consultant, will also be giving a presentation titled, “Combatting Violence Against Law Enforcement” on June 10th at 3:30 PM Central Time at the conference. Be sure to stop by booth #3 for a brief demo of this cutting edge non-escalation and de-escalation training for the law enforcement industry.
IADLEST is an association of standards and training managers and leaders. Its primary focus is criminal justice standards and training. To the extent that the focus and the values promoted thereby can be furthered and shared, all training professionals are welcome as members. The mission of IADLEST is to research, develop, and share information, ideas and innovations which assist states in establishing effective and defensible standards for employment and training of law enforcement officers, and, in those states where dual responsibility exists, correctional personnel.
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.
Vistelar is a global training and consulting institute focused on addressing the entire spectrum of human conflict at the point of impact — from before an interaction begins through to the consequences of how an interaction was managed. Vistelar provides its training via speaking engagements, workshops, and instructor schools using both live and online methods of instruction – and, now, with its partnership with VirTra, simulator training. Learn more about the company at www.vistelar.com.
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Matt Glover or Charlie Schumacher