The DeKalb County Police Department this week demonstrated its newest training tool, a state-of-the-art system to train officers under simulated, lifelike conditions.
“This system allows us to bring officers into a controlled environment to do scenario-based training," said Police Chief William O'Brien, on hand at the demonstration in Lithonia. “The system is very realistic and it’s invaluable to have a tool like this.”
Eventually, everyone in the department will go through the training, O'Brien said.
“It’s the latest and greatest in simulator tools,” said Patrick Grella, training manager for Meggitt Training Systems, of the XVT2 Law Enforcement Simulator that was bought with a $153,000 grant.
“The weapons are wireless and have Bluetooth technology which gives officers freedom of movement and control. The system also has over 250 different types of scenarios," Grella said. "We can have officers fully geared up to go into any type of situation. We can run the officers through this virtual environment to prepare them for actual situations. The department also can create their own scenarios specific to their needs."
And there's more, according to Grella.
“The system has a flash night camera which allows officers to turn any situation into a night life scenario," he said. "Everything is identical with the officer’s real weapon. We can [even] simulate a malfunction to make sure that an officer knows how to clear the weapon."
Sergeants Adrian Benton and Mark Johnson demonstrated how the system worked by performing a variety of law enforcement scenarios for those in attendance.
Grella added that the simulator will not replace live fire. “It will improve fundamental skills and officers will feel more confident,” he said.
DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson (District 3) attended the demonstration and was given an opportunity to try the simulator first-hand.
The DeKalb County Police Department also purchased the Shoot House for officer training, bought with $135,000 in confiscated funds. Both the Shoot House and the Law Enforcement Simulator are located at the department’s new training facility in Lithonia.
Meggitt Training Systems is located in Suwannee, Georgia.