The Moore Police Department has taken de-escalation training to a new level. Instead of only learning communication skills on the streets, officers can practice in virtual reality.
The department was one of the first agencies in the state to use virtual reality equipment to simulate real-life situations.
Moore police officers now suit up in another way for training.
“This training simulator offers officers the ability to see things in a 360-degree environment,” said Lt. Kyle Hill, Moore Police Department.
Previous training simulators were on a two-dimensional screen and had only a few pre-determined outcomes. The training is now an immersive experience.
“We’re able to change dialogue, the environment, the type of call and really we’re only limited by our imaginations,” said Hill.
So how does the technology help law officers? They are communicating with a real person in real time.
“It’s going to allow officer to not only work on their decision making, their judgement and problem solving,” said Hill. “But also communication and active listening skills.”
When News 9 CrimeTracker Jennifer Pierce strapped on the VR gear, she quickly learned police work was not easy.
She was thrown into different scenarios. One she had to de-escalate a person armed with a knife in a grocery store and then respond to a domestic call where anything can happen.
Moore police officials said the VR simulator was also helpful in the hiring process.
“Bring them in to see what kind of decision making and observation skills they posses at the outset of their career,” said Hill.
Moore has hosted VR simulator training for other police agencies both in- and out-of-state.