State Police Utilizes Virtual Reality to Train Troopers

Maryland State Police is implementing a new virtual reality simulator system designed to help train troopers in decision-making during countless scenarios.

By
Larry Smith
on
August 27, 2021
Category:
Law Enforcement Technology

In a recent release by Maryland State Police and CBS's Local Affiliate Station WJZ, we have discovered that the Maryland State Police is implementing a new virtual reality simulator system designed to help train troopers in decision-making during countless scenarios. The agency is one of the first in the state and region to implement this system.

Countless scenarios can be played out ranging from traffic stops to life-threatening standoffs — something troopers are faced with on a day-to-day basis.

“It really works. It takes everything that you’ve learned in the six months of your Academy and applies it… your tactics, your after safety, your verbal judo, your de-escalation,” said Cpl. Adam Merkelson, Maryland State Police.

Maryland State Police Unveil New VR Training System

“I think it’s the wave of the future and you’re going to see a lot of agencies using this,” said Cpt. Brian Smith, Commander of Education in Training Division with Maryland State Police. The decision-making simulator system called Apex Officer uses virtual reality technology to immerse troopers in interactive real-life situations.

Maryland State Police Trooper Demonstrating the Apex Officer VR Training Simulator
Maryland State Police Trooper Demonstrating the Apex Officer VR Training Simulator

The trooper being trained puts on a small backpack and a headset. They are provided a replica handgun and a multi-tool which represents the ‘less lethal’ tools they carry for Maryland state troopers. “This is not a shooting simulator, we’re trying to teach de-escalation, verbal skills and to show that if you do what you can do, you will limit and may not have to use force in any situation,” said Cpt. Smith.

It’s unlike any other training tool used before in the department. Through this virtual simulation, an operator on the other end places you in a scenario and is able to manipulate and control what the suspect is doing based on the trooper’s action.

Apex Officer is the industry leading VR training simulator for police officers, correctional facilities, and law enforcement agencies.

You can read the full story titled, "Maryland State Police Implementing Virtual Reality Simulator To Help Train Troopers In Decision-Making During Various Scenarios" on CBS Baltimore WJZ 13's website.

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Larry Smith

Larry Smith is a journalist focused on policing, public safety, and venture capital.