SRTC Gets Police Training System Upgrades – The Post-Searchlight

The Southern Regional Technical College has new equipment that will help train all local law enforcement.

SRTC Police Chief James Spooner said the new equipment is a simulator made by VirTra that offers a 300-degree view with five screens.

The five screens produce various scenarios for the officers in training which they must then respond to.

While screens are repurposed, Spooner said all electronics are brand new. The electronics were purchased with grant money the SRTC received from the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.

The electronics allow instructors to monitor where each trainee fires their laser gun during the scenario.

“Each screen has a projector that projects onto the screen, but has two different cameras,” Spooner said. “One camera detects lasers, and the other camera will be a filter for night vision, so we can do low light.”

While SRTC houses the simulator, Spooner said it is available to all other law enforcement agencies.

“The academy now uses it for its students,” he said. “They have a class in which they have to use the simulator.”

The trainees use a special weapon that appears to be a regular glock, but is actually a modified version filled with Co2 to power it.

“It’s pretty accurate,” Spooner said. “We have a way to check the gun and make sure it’s zeroed, so if one of the cameras needed to be moved, we could go back and recalibrate it.”

VirTra also provided a Co2 machine that reloads modified pistols, rifles, Taser electronic control devices and pepper sprays.

“We put them in a scenario, where they can choose what they use,” Spooner said. “We want to make it as realistic as possible, as if they were on duty.”

There are approximately 240 scenarios for instructors to choose from. However, some of the scenarios are just training techniques, such as target practice.

“A lot of them are where the officer interacts,” Spooner explained. “It has an audio system and allows the instructor to change the outcome of the scenario depending on how the officer is doing.”

Most scenarios strongly encourage officers-in-training to interact and disparage suspects, working on their de-escalation techniques. If the trainee seems to be doing well, the instructors have the option to ensure that no one is shot. However, if the trainee is having trouble defusing the situation, the instructor can escalate the stakes.

An instructor must be present for the simulator to work. However, several trainees can enter the simulator at the same time if they wish to undergo training on a rotational basis.

Instructors can then go back and see where each trainee’s “laser bullet” hit during the doubles course.

For more information on how to enroll your cadets in the simulator, contact Spooner at [email protected]

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