Use of Force Simulators
Throughout the years, law enforcement officials have had access to a variety of training. Not only do they take to the firing range to learn how to properly handle and fire their weapons, but they can also participate in live training, where actors pretend to be assailants and give officers a realistic view of scenarios they may encounter. However, virtual reality use of force simulators are quickly becoming the norm when it comes to law enforcement training for several important reasons.
Live Simulations with Actors
Police officers and other law enforcement officials can certainly benefit from roleplaying. Typically, this involves bringing in a team of actors to stage some sort of scenario that an officer may face in the line of duty. All kinds of scenarios can be simulated in a live-action manner, including things like active shooters, hostage situations, standoffs, armed robberies, and more. While this form of training can be quite effective, it is also quite expensive, and this limits the amount of training an officer can receive in any given year. Aside from this, many jurisdictions still rely on an old-fashioned simulation that allows for few, if any, variables.
Firing Range Practice
Another important means of law enforcement training is firing range practice, which simply means that officers take the firearms they may be required to use in the line of duty to a range and fire them at targets. Again, there are a few variables here, including the option to shoot at targets at varying distances, or in some specially designed ranges even at moving targets. Though this can certainly benefit an officer by allowing him to understand the capabilities of his or her firearm, it does very little to teach that officer how and when to apply use of force, and it does not teach officers what to expect if they are wounded in the line of duty.
Filling in the Gaps
While live action simulations and firing range practice are both beneficial in their own way, they both come with limitations at the same time. For example, live-action simulations are expensive; multiple actors to run through dozens of scenarios with officers can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Firing ranges do give officers the opportunity to familiarize themselves with their firearms, but not in a real-life scenario. This is where virtual reality use of force simulators can fill in the gaps and offer the best of both worlds – and a little extra at the same time.
Benefits of Virtual Reality Use of Force Simulators
Virtual reality use of force simulators is much like live action, but rather than live actors, the operators simply program a scenario into a computer where it can play out on a 300-degree surround screen. Much like a firing range, officers have the ability to use modified weapons that provide the sensation of recoil when fired, and they can even wear specialized items designed to mimic the effects of being injured in the line of duty. A virtual reality use of force simulator allows for on-the-fly customization, which is vital for teaching officers judgmental use of force. No two simulations ever have to be the same, which keeps officers on their toes and helps prepare them for things they may come across in the field.
Over the last decade or so, virtual reality has become more and more prevalent. It is a common factor in today’s video games, and even medical students use it to simulate operations before taking lives into their hands. These days, virtual reality use of force simulators is truly changing the way law enforcement officials receive their training, and it is saving lives at the same time.