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Virtual reality simulator helps police trainees prep for real-life scenarios

Posted at 5:24 PM, Mar 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-07 08:52:08-05

A virtual reality, no-fancy-glasses-needed, new simulator technology is helping local law enforcement officers train for high-stress situations.

These high-pressure encounters include use of force, de-escalation, firearms trainings — and school shootings.

Five massive screens provide a 300 degree view of the training. Speakers and a device that is able to deliver a small shock transform a regular room into a scenario used to train officers in a way they couldn't train before. 

"We want our officers to make decisions under stress," Steven Dilullo with VirTra Systems said. 

The technology is currently used by more than 200 law enforcement agencies for training nationwide.

"The power of this simulation is immersion, getting officers to believe they're in it," Dilullo said. 

The system can simulate hundreds of different scenarios, with vision and weapons matching what officers see in the field.

"These are actual reports from around the country, from actual use of force events. Not all of them are shootings, but most of them are," Dilullo with VirTra Systems said. 

News 5 was told some form of the VirTra technology will be a part of Cuyahoga County Community College's expanded Public Safety Training Institute for all local law enforcement agencies to use for training.