Combining a 300-degree HD video environment with a surround-sound system…

Combining a 300-degree HD video environment with a surround-sound system gives officers
hyper-realistic training.

There is no substitute for real-world experience, but that is a hard way to learn, especially in law enforcement, where many decisions carry life-and-death implications. Effective training can fill the gap and helps to transfer the prior experience of countless others to new officers. The more you train and the more realistic the training, the more the lessons sink in. This explains, in large part, the popularity of video simulators.

The VirTra 300 LE use-of-force training simulator is the most advanced system currently available for law enforcement, and as the name implies, it provides an immersive 300-degree environment. I had the opportunity to use this system firsthand at the Gander Mountain Academy in Lakeland, Florida, the only place civilians can conveniently access this type of training. Gander Mountain uses the same system as VirTra’s LE version with scenarios geared toward civilian concealed carry but with the same level of realism.

The VirTra system provides immersive training. An instructor can select from several options to tailor the response of the video actors to the officer’s commands or actions.

High Definition
I have seen single-screen systems in use, but this really blows them away. The trainee first steps onto a platform with a heavy metal concert level sound system below and above, as well as speakers behind each of the five life-sized screens. Each simulation takes place in a real environment with human actors—not Toy Story CGI—using HD video so officers can read facial expressions and subtle eye and hand movements as well as body language. The on-screen human targets move and run at or from you, they take cover, communicate with each other and return fire.

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