Brooksville P.D. says virtual reality training has helped save lives

Posted at 5:32 PM, Oct 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-10 17:32:32-04

The Brooksville Police Department is training its officers to deal with hundreds of real life emergency situations without even leaving the station.

It's a virtual reality system that gives officers 800 different scenarios that they normally wouldn't have frequent training on. 

Brooksville Police Chief, George Turner said, "we try to keep our officers highly trained and prepared to deal with whatever they meet on the street." 

They can train for situations like active shooters, people in emotional crisis, traffic stops, places of worship, K9 situations and many more.

Turner said, "the scenarios can change so that nothing is ever the same. So no one can ever be prepared. It’s more realistic, it's more like being on the street." 

The $30,000 software program was paid for by a federal grant. It forces the officer called to the scene to talk out the situation with the virtual person or suspect so no one gets hurt, while another officer is behind the computer choosing how the virtual person will respond. 

Chief Turner believes this program is the reason why out of the 618 arrests made by Brooksville P.D. last year, minimal force was only used one time.

Turner said, "a lot of our decisions are made in split seconds, so we just have to train for that. It's a hard thing to train for but this is the best thing I’ve seen to prepare officers for anything."