PORTAGE, Mich. (WOOD) — Portage police are now training using virtual reality.
Described as “innovative,” “realistic and immersive,” the Apex Officer system allows officers to use real guns and equipment modified specifically for the VR training, the Portage Department of Public Safety said.
The training officers will undergo includes how to respond to an active shooter, as well as instruction in de-escalation and crisis intervention.
“The flexibility that Apex Officer provides will enable us to create, in a safe VR environment, situations that officers will face in real life,” Portage DPS Training Sgt. Michael Collier said in a statement.
With training sessions that last as little as 15 minutes, officers can use the system frequently — as often as every shift, if they have time, the department said.
“In a time when law enforcement officers are receiving more scrutiny than ever due to high-profile incidents of police use of force, we looked at how we could reimagine our training program to better prepare officers for those types of conditions,” Portage DPS Director Nicholas Armold stated.