ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) — During a period of scrutiny over how police handle certain emergency calls, the Albemarle County Police Department is reimagining its training program.
The department is using modern technology to help officers prepare for all kinds of situations.
“We really wanted a way to enhance our training at the county police department and kind of be a level above any other agency in Virginia,” said Lt. Tripp Martin.
ACPD is the only agency in the state using a virtual reality simulator in its training program.
While wearing the VR set, officers can do target practice and experience simulations that mimic real-life situations.
The department said it helps police train in de-escalation and decision-making during high-stress scenarios.
“I think it just gives us a little bit of an edge on training as far as putting us in real-life scenarios in a safe environment, and we’re able to provide feedback to officers on how they responded in each scenario,” Martin said.
Plus, it’s cost-effective.
Martin said the agency can use it whenever they want, and they don’t have to pay for off-site training or extra ammunition.
The $70,000 system was funded by Albemarle County and the Albemarle County Police Association.