Breezy Point Police Officers Launch New VR Training Simulator for 2023

BPPD joins the growing list of Minnesota law enforcement agencies adopting new VR training simulators.

Alex Oliver
February 22, 2023
Law Enforcement Technology

(BREEZY POINT, MINNESOTA) - Breezy Point Police Department is implementing an interactive virtual reality training system that provides individualized training and immediate feedback and instruction for officers in decision-making during countless scenarios ranging from traffic stops to life-threatening standoffs.

The Apex Officer system uses virtual reality technology to immerse officers in unpredictable real-life situations that are directly impacted by a participant’s ability to respond to a specific situation properly. 

The officer being trained puts on a small backpack computer, and a VR headset. In another room, an instructor sits at a laptop computer and router that generate the scenes. The instructor controls the scene and everything the suspects or victims on-screen do. When the instructor speaks, the person on the screen moves his/her mouth. The instructor can change the facial expressions and movements of the person remotely, based on what occurs during the scenario.

Virtual reality simulator training is the wave of the future as bulky, screen-based training technology is being phased out. Instead of needing half of a large room to display a screen, this virtual simulator training can be set up in a small room, while ‘virtually’ placing the trainee in a multitude of situations, such as being in the middle of a busy street facing a despondent man with mental health issues who is armed with a knife.

Advantages of VR Training for Minnesota Police Officers

One key advantage of VR training simulators is that they allow officers to experience a wide range of scenarios that are difficult to replicate in real life. For example, officers can practice responding to active shooter situations or domestic violence calls without actually putting themselves in danger. The simulators also allow officers to practice de-escalation techniques in situations involving mental health crises or individuals with disabilities. These scenarios are often complex and difficult to navigate, and the use of VR technology enables officers to improve their decision-making abilities and responses.

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Alex Oliver

Alex Oliver is a journalist focused on police and law enforcement news.