Simulator creates immersive environments for police training

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. – The Central Illinois Police Training Center hosted an open house Wednesday to showcase their new training simulator.

The VirTra 300 trains officers in immersive, responsive, environments.

It offers various scenarios, from domestic violence encounters, to traffic stops, to active shooter situations. Based on the officers’ reactions, the simulation changes.

Executive Director of the Illinois Law Enforcement and Training Board Brent Fischer says the simulations help officers to both identify needed training and enhance current training.

“We’re asking officers to do so many different things and be prepared for so many scenarios, and so this is kind of a one-stop-shop when that happens,” Fischer said.

Director of the Central Illinois Police Training Center Mike Oyer says the system can pinpoint an officer’s shortcomings.

“How do they react in gender bias, or how do they react in a racial bias situation? We can hopefully identify some of those things and reduce the issues they have with individual officers,” Oyer said.

The system was purchased through an Illinois Criminal Justice Authority grant. It is the second of its kind in Illinois. Officials hope the system could eventually be implemented statewide.

“The results from other departments that have had this nationwide are unbelievable,” Oyer said. “They have gone to these systems and they have seen a dramatic drop in officer’s use of force.”

The training simulator is available for local departments to access at all hours.

“Law enforcement is a 24/7 operation, so to have that access is going to be tremendous,” Fischer said.

CIPTC helps train 48 law enforcement departments in Peoria, Tazewell and Woodford counties.

“Our mobile team, our police training system here is doing everything we possibly can to keep our officers well-trained, and interactive with the public as well,” Oyer said.

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