Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office Launches Virtual Simulator Training System

SANTA FE, NM — Santa Fe deputies are using virtual reality to prepare for a variety of real-life scenarios.

“It can be anything from lethal force situations, shoot/no shoot situations, behavioral and mental health crisis situations,” Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza said.

Assistants are not mental health counselors, but they are often called upon to resolve these emergencies.

“We are the first responders, we take care of it when we get to the scene,” Mendoza said. “The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office is helping prepare officers for challenging mental health situations using a virtual simulator.”

The sheriff’s office hopes the new technology will boost the skills of deputies on the street.

“For me, it puts me in a real situation, without having to be in a real situation,” said SFCSO agent Anthony Segura. “It’s beneficial. I think as many times as myself or another deputy goes through it, it will make them better law enforcement officers.”

Simulations are designed to test the instincts of agents.

“It makes you go back to what you know a lot and if you make a mistake you have your buddies and assistants here to help you train and improve,” Segura said.

This is the first week that MPs have worked with the virtual reality simulator. The sheriff’s office said it hopes to make it a bigger part of training new recruits.

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