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Simulator enhances police training | News

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Simulator enhances police training
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Check out one of the Warner Robins Police Department's latest training sessions, and you may confuse it for a movie set.

Officers interact with a Virtra 180 simulator, that uses actors and weapons with lasers.

The three-screen, computer-generated technology creates 70 scenarios police could encounter, such as active shooters in a school, hostage situations and traffic stops.

The trainer controls how the actors react to an officers commands. They can change how the suspect reacts every time, so the officer never knows what's coming.

For example, the trainer could choose for the suspect to submit to the officer's commands, attack the officer, or shoot at him.

Training commander Captain John Clay says it creates a similar stress level to what officers feel in real-life situations.

Clay said, "You can have them do push-ups and run to get their stress level up out on the range, but now you're actually being shot back at."

The screens use the laser technology to measure the officer's shooting accuracy.

The trainer gives them feedback on how to improve verbal commands, shooting and other aspects of the scenarios.

The Virtra 180 simulator cost about $122,000. The police department paid for it using Justice Assistance Grants, known as JAG money.

Warner Robins police bought the technology last year, but it is just now becoming operational at the department's Lake Joy precinct.


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