SUNY Ulster Training System Simulates Emergency Scenarios

Students and recruits from SUNY Ulster and the Ulster County Law Enforcement Training Group practice their skills using a new simulation system.

“Until you’re in that position yourself, where you have to assess what’s going on, once you figure out what the right action is, it’s totally different. It’s really learning by doing,” said Jim Truitt, professor of criminal justice and social work at SUNY Ulster.

The William J. and Elizabeth R. Weishaupt Sr. Criminal Justice Fund was used to purchase a state-of-the-art interactive training system for law enforcement first responders.


What do you want to know

  • Students and recruits from SUNY Ulster and Ulster County Law Enforcement Training Group practice their skills using a new simulation system
  • The simulator contains approximately 1,000 scenarios that instructors can use, giving trainees the opportunity to immerse themselves in a realistic situation
  • This gives them the opportunity to make mistakes and learn in a controlled environment, so they have confidence if faced with any of these situations on the pitch.

“When I think in terms of usage for our students and our recruits, I think the key here is that they grow up in an environment where gamification is a huge thing,” said Janay Gasparini, assistant professor of criminal justice and font base. training coordinator at SUNY Ulster. “It’s really kind of a big, if you will, big video game. That translates very well to them.

The simulator offers around 1,000 different scenarios for instructors to choose from, giving trainees the opportunity to immerse themselves in realistic situations.

“That is really, in all honesty, all a law enforcement officer can be called upon to deal with. So we have situations of emotional unrest, we have violent domestic disputes, a range of other civil unrest, vehicle and traffic stops, where there are, we would say, situations of essentially unknown type, then also known high-risk event types that could actually happen,” Truitt said.

There are options for pausing to discuss what’s going on, as well as ways to change the situation based on their reactions.

“I would rather we put our students through these scenarios for the first time here, in this controlled environment, where we expect mistakes to happen, where they can learn from their mistakes, than on the street or on the terrain where these mistakes can have unintended consequences,” said Michael Bonse, Kingston Deputy Chief of Police and Director of the Police Academy.

“It’s something they want to do more and more because it really does, it builds the confidence they need to deal effectively with situations in the community,” Gasparini said.

The trainers also hope that the simulation is within reach not only of the cops, but also of the neighbors.

“We have a mental health crisis in this country. In our age of active shooters, we are able to attract school administrators. We’re able to bring in community members, law-makers and law-makers to give them a real sense of what those scenarios entail,” Gasparini said.

“If nothing else, being put into a scenario and the things that we can replicate here in a safe, controlled environment and just seeing how you yourself react when you’re put into it is an eye-opening experience in itself,” said Good. .

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