Miami Police test new virtual training system for intense situations

MIAMI (WSVN) - Miami Police officers are among the first in the country to test out high-tech training and get on-job experience for tough scenarios.

The training consists of five screens, high-definition video, surround sound and realistic weapon simulators. All these elements help the virtual world come alive for a police officer in training.

This is the latest technology for police training, and Miami Police officers will soon have available for training recruits. It’s 300 degrees of flat screens that surround the officers to deliver realistic, comprehensive training.

“What this allows the officers to do is come out, and of course have the traditional ‘shoot, don’t shoot’ scenarios, but it also gives the officer the ability to de-escalate the scenario,” said Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina.

The trainer running the program can direct what would happen throughout the course based on what the officer said and did.

“What we try to stress is the way that you communicate with the people you’re interacting with often times is going to dictate what the end result is,” Colina said. “Typically the way these things work is you have a set scenario, and it’s going to play out the way it’s going to play out. Well, this is interactive.”

Jay Ayala with Meggitt Training said this new training program is a win-win for everyone.

“The simulation has taken over, and the fact that it’s going to be a lot safer to do test runs inside of a simulator,” Ayala said. “It’s cost efficient. It’s logistics. It’s a lot easier.”

The Miami Police Department is the second department in the country to get Meggitt Training Systems’ FATS 300LE.

7News was able to try out the program to see how realistic the simulated hostile encounters could be, like an active shooter scenario, for example.

Now officers can get more experience and get better by running through multiple repetitions of different scenarios at the click of a button.

“This is going to provide our officers with the absolute best training that there is in the country,” Colina said.

Miami officers will start working with the system next week.

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