As demands upon public safety officials grow, the training they receive must prepare them for the incredible duty placed upon their shoulders. With recent media attention focused on the oversight of police training and a seemingly unending influx officer-involved shootings, we know training time and intensity are at an all-time high. However, are agencies embracing the use of new technology like virtual reality police training to aid in training? Can new technologies improve how police train?
Virtual reality police training simulators, like SURVIVR, offer a wide array of features, but first, it’s essential to understand the ways police are currently training. Most law enforcement officers train using a combination of classroom, defensive tactics, and reality-based training. While virtual training will never replace any of these methodologies, it will undoubtedly augment them. Time in the classroom is imperative to learn laws, policies, and procedures, but retention is relatively low. Defensive tactics cover hand-to-hand combat and typically have a higher retention rate. Reality-based training currently exists at the intersection of defensive tactics and what is learned in the classroom and is where all the things learned come together for practice. Reality-based training typically has the highest retention rate.
The problem with reality-based training lies in its expense. The law enforcement agencies have to provide physical spaces and actors to staff the scenarios used in reality-based training. Practice scenarios take place in mock houses, apartments, trailer homes, modular buildings. However, after a trainee is exposed to one training environment, it becomes less effective for future scenarios. Actors in the scenario also add to the expense. Actors are often off duty officers being paid overtime or the other half of the academy class. Either way, a great deal of operations cost is expended during reality-based training.
Virtual Reality Police Training
Enter virtual reality-based training. Virtual reality police training offers a medium between the classroom and traditional reality-based training. Trainees have the benefit of pulling all the tools and tactics together, while also building muscle memory, which results in a training retention rate similar to reality-based training. Using virtual reality also allows departments to break away from using the same physical locations for training as each scenario has its environment individual to that training module. Departments also save on the expense of paying for overtime police officers to be the actors in the scenarios and provides training with a similar retention rate at a lower cost than reality-based training. While the best practice will be a combination of all of the above, SURVIVR’s virtual police training is yet another tool in the arsenal to better train law enforcement officers and ensure everyone goes home at the end of their shift.
If SURVIVR’s virtual reality training platform seems like a good fit for your agency, don’t hesitate to reach out for a free demo of our product.