LOWELL — Superintendent Raymond Kelly Richardson would like to invite members of the media to experience a state-of-the-art training simulator the Lowell Police Department is using to allow officers to practice real-world scenarios involving de-escalation and other strategies.
Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, starting at 10:30 a.m.
Lowell Police Department Training Center, 115 Middlesex St., Lowell, MA
The Lowell Police Department recently installed a virtual reality training system designed to help police officers improve how they respond to a variety of situations, in particular those involving de-escalation.
The Lowell Police Department — which recently began a jail-diversion program with mental health clinicians who work on city streets alongside patrol officers — will be demonstrating the simulator with a scenario involving a police officer and a mental health clinician.
The Department is leasing a VirTra V-300 simulator to provide a more realistic and variable training environment than traditional training methods. The simulator also will enable police to train more officers more conveniently than traditional training methods.
The V-300 simulator includes five large screens that provide a 300-degree immersive training environment. The V-300 recreates physiological stressors such as an elevated heart rate and high levels of adrenaline that officers experience during an intense response.
The simulator offers training modules with multiple scenarios and outcomes based on how participants interact and respond. Officers may train in a variety of virtual locations, such as movie theaters, courthouses, or even schools.
Training modules cover a range of complex situations, including dealing with mental-health crises, autism awareness, dealing with aggressive dogs, and responding to active shooter incidents.
“Training is one of the most important elements in preparing any police officer for the dangerous work they do, as well as for the quick decision making that is required,” said Superintendent Richardson. “This simulator gives us far more ability to train officers in a variety of scenarios, and in particular to focus training on key issues in policing right now, such as de-escalation, and how to work with our mental health clinicians to achieve positive outcomes.”
This new level of training will support the Lowell Police Department’s efforts to build on its existing accreditation from the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission and work to meet the rigorous guidelines set out by recently-passed police reform legislation.
“The Lowell Police Department is committed to evolving with the times and concerns of our community and meeting the challenges of policing in the 21st century,” Superintendent Richardson said. “This technology will help ensure our vital training methods are as up-to-date as our policies, procedures and policing strategies.”
VirTra is a global provider of judgmental use of force training simulators, firearms training simulators and driving simulators for the law enforcement, military, educational and commercial markets. The company’s patented technologies, software, and scenarios provide intense training for de-escalation, judgmental use-of-force, marksmanship and related training that mimics real-world situations. VirTra’s mission is to save and improve lives worldwide through practical and highly effective virtual reality and simulator technology.
To learn more about VirTra training simulators, click here.