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State-of-the-Art Training Simulators
The benefit of virtual driving and firearms training simulators to officers cannot be denied. Today’s training simulators for law enforcement feature the latest technology and software to make scenarios as realistic as possible. First responders are better prepared in the field or on patrol thanks to simulators like the following from industry leaders.
Applied Simulation Technologies
EVOC-101 from Applied Simulation Technologies is a self-contained Emergency Vehicle Operations Course that runs on the PatrolSim driving simulators. EVOC-101 includes lesson plans that teach physical skills and judgement and application software to track and record progress. It has been shown to reduce critical errors by 67 percent and manage “simulator sickness” to under 1 percent.
EVOC-101 Web provides online training for police and emergency vehicle drivers in a convenient and always accessible setting. It provides the fundamental skills that better prepare trainees for a driving simulator or test track. EVOC-101 Web has been shown to improve driver performance scores and to train drivers to be less lisky.
Doron Precision Systems Inc.
Doron’s 550LE™ Driving Simulator is an interactive, law-enforcement driving simulator designed to provide a dynamic training environment for a variety of law enforcement applications. Each 550LE driving simulator is a single operator unit that allows the driver to interact with computer-generated vehicles in a realistic environment. Multiple 550LE law enforcement simulators can be linked to create real-time scenarios enabling the development of team-based skills and essential agency policy training.
Features of the 550LE include: visual system and graphics; steering adjustment; digital voice instruction; radio; emergency lighting and sirens; Virtual World 3.0; Doron Positioning System (DPS); malfunction capabilities; SkillTrak Reaction Evaluation; and TextAloud. The 550LEplus Driving Simulator builds on the advanced 550LE by providing a 225-degree field of view with three 55-inch display panels, minimizing seam distraction and visual interruption.
Additional features include: Optimum vehicle perspective; Dolby 5.1 digital surround sound; 1024×786 resolution; facilitates complete and realistic intersection shoulder checks; coolflow ventilation system; cutting-edge design lines; only two 1.5-inch seems between display panels; and new dynamic virtual world graphics.
The newest product in FAAC Incorporated’s public safety simulator lineup is the LE-1000, a simulator with the latest technology and features/functions requested by experts in the field.
The LE-1000 is feature-rich, with advancements to its physical size, instructor convenience, build time, ergonomic improvements, and even more training scenarios. The LE-1000 includes: Three large LED screens that retain a 225-degree horizontal field-of-view; All-in-one instructor console manageable with Apple I products, such as iPad, iPod and iPhone; Streamlined physical footprint; Charger and Crown Victoria dashboard cab models; open-style cockpit that makes it easier for Driving Force customers to transition from driving to force options simulation training; Scientifically tested vehicle dynamics; Mobile Data Terminal that receives live and pre-programmed dispatch information; comprehensive curriculum, including networked response and supervisory scenarios; and 60-day delivery lead time.
In addition to physical and software improvements, FAAC’s curriculum features more than 100 training scenarios, from simple skill-building exercises to complex multi-tasking and decisionmaking exercises.
L-3 DPA instructional systems analyze training requirements and provide an effective, cost efficient program with documented validity. Based on an agency’s needs, L-3 DPA will provide the life-cycle support needed to maintain the relevancy of courseware content and the performance of an agency’s instructional system. L-3 DPA’s Interactive Multimedia Instruction, IMI, is a learning environment where words, sounds, images and actions are all available when needed. L-3 DPA’s IMI provides students with what they need to see and hear to accomplish job-specific tasks and activities.
Various levels of interactivity provide options of increasing fidelity that bring students systematically from initial knowledge acquisition through to planning, decision-making and assessment of results as they perform complete job tasks. L-3 DPA’s IMI shows, tells, asks, answers and enables. Students learn, and prove their learning through performance.
L-3 DPA’s Electronic Classrooms provide instructors with comprehensive capabilities to present information, track progress, and record student performance. The use of networked and wireless devices enhances the learning experience providing direct feedback to the instructor. Each student station can operate independently while the instructor monitors progress. Interactive lectures are developed to maximize the learning experience by maintaining student attention and focus. Configurations and courseware are developed for each unique learning environment to maximize the effectiveness of the training solution.
The Sim Commander allows the driver to navigate through the training program via touchscreen, freeing up the resources of the trainer. Wireless remote control combines the most commonly used features of the OpCon/(IOS) and Sim Commander all in the palm of the instructor’s hand.
The PatrolSim Series—Police Car Driving Simulator features flexibility, realism and instructor freedom in a modular, versatile design. High-resolution graphics provide realism, allowing organizations to practice critical decision-making skills in a risk-free environment. Utilize hundreds of POST Certified Scenarios including: traffic stops, pursuits, multivehicles and emergency response calls.
Virtual Driver Interactive
Virtual Driver Interactive’s (VDI) partners with law enforcement officials in outreach and training programs that engage communities in helping teens become good drivers for life. VDI’s simulators are used for officer defensive driving training, impaired and distracted driver training at high schools, and by the traffic unit at community events. By offering a wide range of system hardware options, VDI’s customers can expect highly portable, affordable and effective solutions. VDI offers a robust hardware product portfolio including full cabs, midsize cockpits and desktop virtual trainers.
Virtual Hazard Detection (Virtual HD) is a voice-controlled, interactive simulation-based driver safety program designed to improve hazard recognition skills, lower accident rates, and reduce distracted driving. Virtual HD is a unique driver training program focused on eliminating the primary reason why drivers become involved in a crash: a failure to recognize and react to hazardous driving situations.
Virtual HD provides training scenarios that cannot be easily duplicated in a traditional, behind-the-wheel training course. Training occurs within a driver’s most recognizable environment in varying weather conditions including city, highway, commercial, parking lots and residential. Virtual HD allows drivers to practice hazard detection techniques in a fun, safe, yet challenging simulation environment.
Concepts covered include hazard anticipation, recognition, distracted driving, proper space management and reaction time. Unique to Virtual HD is the ability to replay near misses with multiple camera perspectives including aerial views, views from other drivers, as well as views from bicycles/motorcycles.
One Simple Decision (OSD) is a simulation-based experience designed to deter distracted or impaired driving by focusing exclusively on the consequences of these actions. OSD was created with the direct participation of law enforcement, judicial and trauma personnel. OSD combines high-fidelity simulation and high-definition consequence videos along with interactive quizzes, live texting and “Reality Checks” (interviews with actual law enforcement personnel, judges and first responders) to actually modify driving behavior.
Each lesson can be completed in as little as 20 minutes to accommodate greater throughput but talking points and videos can extend lessons as needed. The goal of One Simple Decision is to let drivers experience the consequences of their actions without putting themselves or others in danger.
IES Interactive Training
IES Interactive Training recently developed and released the MILO Range Shoothouse and MILO Range Theatre products, and they have the industry’s only fully integrated driving simulator and use-of-force/firearms training simulator in an embedded single system, called the Driving Force. Other new innovations include IES’s Stereo 3D training scenarios, 16-device capability, and a number of other industry-leading features such as touchscreen operation with cover flow design.
MILO Range is a multi-tiered series of simulation training products for law enforcement, military and security personnel. MILO Range systems provide interactive high-definition video training scenarios and computer-generated graphics content to allow trainees to interact through the use of simulated and live weapons.
Each MILO Range system includes three primary training modes: scenarios, firing Line and GraphX Targeting. A fourth, optional training mode, Force on Force, provides real-time interactivity through the use of actors such as other trainees or instructors. Scenarios include: interactive Use of Force training videos; interactive multi-branching video provides a training platform for decision making by allowing verbalization and weapon usage.
Trainees are required to adapt to the threat on-screen by taking cover, using verbal commands, and using the appropriate level of force. The system reacts in real time to weapons used by the trainee as well as to manual branch selections made by the instructor.
Firing Line offers a multi-lane firearms targeting solution for pistols and rifles. Targets can vary from static to fully scripted courses of fire. Instructors can focus on trainees instead of system operation, while the system performs the instructor-defined distance, timing and scoring adjustment as well, providing on-screen and audible instructions to shooters.
Interactive Targeting utilizes 2D and 3D graphics-based exercises to promote basic firearms skills and decision making. Powered by IES’ exclusive GraphX technology, the system reacts in real time to weapons used by the trainee, and scores are displayed during the training session.
Trainees can improve basic firearms skills such as timing, accuracy, acquisition and threat identification. Exercises range from simple plates and poppers up to full-scale shoot houses. With the Force on Force option in the MILO Range system, trainees interact with instructors, other trainees or other actors, in real time. All actions are captured, along with weapon use, just like a normal scenario, allowing a complete review. With Force on Force, trainees interact with unscripted real-time actors for the most challenging and realistic training experience. Screens can be in separate rooms or even separate buildings.
For both firearms and driver training, IES’ Driving Force is a combined driving and force options training system. Officers do exactly the same things in the training room that they do on duty—receiving and responding to a call in their patrol car, conducting an investigation, a field interview, making a simulated arrest or even implementing a level of force necessary to gain compliance from a subject.
The most valuable component of this combined training is that it takes the officer from the beginning to the end of the call. The features include Fully Integrated Simulation Training; Best in Start-to-End Training Cycles; Compression of Situational Dynamics; Opportunity to Choose Incorrectly; More Practice; Tailored Instructional Sessions; Objective and Repeatable Training Sessions; Start-to-Finish Call Cycle Training.
Meggitt Training Systems Inc.
Meggitt continues the legacy and reliability of the FATS brand with the FATS L7 training simulator, the latest in its line of marksmanship and judgmental firearms training systems. The FATS L7 is an advanced, self-contained simulation training system that easily moves from the trunk of a cruiser to positioned on the floor and ready for training. A compact touchscreen tablet PC provides wireless instructor control for ease of use, while an intuitive graphic interface eliminates the need for lengthy instructor training.
The FATS L7 system offers marksmanship training ranging from basic to advanced, and judgmental training to enhance officers’ understanding of “shoot/don’t shoot” situations, use of force, and the corresponding decision-making process. It’s capable of supporting training of multiple officers simultaneously, and up to eight system-controlled weapons during Judgmental Video Training, allowing users to practice working as a team. emulates a range-type training environment where each officer may shoot a different exercise, and in accordance with range safety/ spacing guidelines, the system can support training of up to four officers simultaneously.
The flexibility, advanced features and authoring tools of the FATS L7 allows instructors to continuously adapt training courseware to meet departmental needs. Integrated Authoring tools provide for instructor creation of new marksmanship training courses, while the newly featured Integrated Video Authoring Station supports customer creation of new video scenarios. From active shooters and vehicle stops, to emotionally disturbed person situations, agencies can build scenarios that are true to what their officers experience out on the street.
Meggitt Training Systems’ BlueFire Wireless Weapon Simulators use commercial wireless Bluetooth technology to communicate with the training system in the same manner as System Controlled (tethered) Weapons. For weapons with recoil, this is achieved with a rechargeable patented magazine of compressed gas. This is significant in that, while not tethered, Meggitt Training Systems BlueFire weapons still retain the full sensor feedback.
These patented BlueFire® weapon simulators can be used in conjunction with other System Controlled Weapon simulators without requiring any modification. Meggitt Training Systems has BlueFire® versions of Chemical Spray, Taser, the Glock 17 pistol, and BlueFire® configurations of the Sig P226, Beretta M9, Walther P99, M4 and SRS Rifle (M16 type) simulators and a BlueFire® M&P 40.
The VirTra 300 LE use of force training simulator allows law enforcement officers to build judgmental use of force, marksmanship and tactical training skills. The VirTra 300 LE is the world’s only 300-degree video-based use-of-force training simulator. Five screens, combined with an immersive 300-degree training platform, recoil kits for a variety of weapons, and sweat-inducing video scenarios translates into real-world skills.
Features and benefits include an immersive 300-degree simulator platform. This 300-degree firearms training system allows users to engage threats across multiple screens, building situational awareness skills to address threats from many directions. With a VirTra Systems Use of Force Simulator, training time is no longer limited to ammunition supplies, weather conditions or time of day. The VirTra 300 is reconfigurable to support up to 15 individual firing lanes for Marksmanship training. An optional breach door is available for tactical SWAT training.
Less-than-lethal options include TASER, OC and Baton; drop-in recoil kits enable firearms training with the exact same weapon officers use on the street. VirTra’s patented Threat-Fire hostile return fire system adds real world consequence to training by delivering a customizable electric impulse or vibration simulating return fire.
VirTra’s drop-in tetherless recoil kits convert a duty handgun or rifle into an effective training weapon that uses compressed gas to simulate recoil during training. Build fundamental firearms skills like reacquiring targets after weapon discharge. Recoil kits require no modification of the weapon, can be quickly installed or removed, and are available for almost every handgun or rifle on the market.
Scenario branching options allow trainers to escalate and deescalate situations to multiple outcomes. Full marksmanship courseware gives instructors the tools to help advance shooting skills from novice to expert; optional scenario authoring capabilities allow instructors to develop customized courses of fire.
Scenarios involving active shooter, ambushes, disturbances, domestic violence incidents, and more allow users to exercise verbal and critical thinking skills as well as shoot/don’t shoot decision-making. High-resolution video-based scenarios featuring real actors help in life and death decision-making. They train reading and reacting to facial expressions, subtle eye movements and body language—queues unavailable from computer-generated scenarios.
A fully directional surround-sound system featuring more than 2,000 watts of audio creates a realistic, immersive training environment with audio realism. Users can sense the direction and distance of sounds during training, and feel the stage rumble as helicopters fly overhead while training through intense auditory distractions such as gunshots, explosions, sirens and more.
Instructor control panel allows instructors to access frequently used features quickly by easily selecting scenarios, branches and training weapons. Add audio distractions and activate the Threat-Fire hostile return fire system through a simplified user interface. Threat-Fire easily clips on to the trainee, uses a rechargeable battery pack, is wireless, and can penetrate many layers of clothing.
The standard setting of just 30 milliseconds of electric impulse is enough to add real-world consequences that greatly enhance the effectiveness of simulation training. As opposed to shoot-back cannons, Threat-Fire requires no aiming, allowing instructors to focus fully on the trainee, does not leave behind materials that require cleanup, and has low risk of personal injury compared to shoot-back projectiles.
Jennifer Gavigan has been contributing to LAW and ORDER for more than eight years, writing on cutting-edge topics in law enforcement. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in Law and Order, Mar 2012
Rating : 7.0
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