P1 Poll results: How do cops use virtual training simulators?

We recently polled our Police1 audience on how they use virtual training simulators

By Police1 Staff

We recently polled our Police1 audience on how they use virtual training simulators. Take a look at the responses and add your own comments in the section below!

1. Does your department currently use a virtual training simulator?

Of those polled, over 50 percent have used a virtual training simulator. Nearly 46 percent of those users have one in their own department, while 12 percent have used one from a neighboring agency.

2. What sort of training have you undergone in a virtual simulator?

The majority of our participants have used virtual training simulators for firearms (71 percent) and use of force training (63 percent). Only around 6 percent of poll-takers have used the technology for traffic accident investigation training. 13 percent have used virtual simulators for other training purposes, including active shooter/rapid response, driving, and hostage situations. 14 percent have never undergone virtual training. 

3. If your agency has a simulator, how often do you train with it?

Most cops who took our poll rarely engage in virtual training — only participating in it a few times a year (53 percent).  Nearly 29 percent of cops with training simulators in their agency have never used it.

4. If your agency has a simulator, does your agency invite civilians to use it?

Inviting anti-police protesters, civil rights leaders, news anchors, and other civilians to undergo virtual training at a police department has made headlines as of late, but the vast majority of agencies who have the technology (73 percent) have not opened it to the public.

5. What do you consider the most important feature in a virtual training simulator and why?

As expected, the more realistic the training, the better — with physical feedback ranking as the top answer from cops on how to add to that realism. Other answers included adding recoil to the weapon, incorporating case law into the training, featuring environments that are true to your location, and undergoing the simulation while equipped with all of your uniform gear.

6. What aspects of virtual training do you find advantageous over other training methods?

The wide variety of different scenarios cops can undergo in a single training session was seen as a huge advantage to virtual training over other methods of practice. Comparing results — either by reviewing video of a session or by watching other officers during their session — was also viewed as highly advantageous by our participants. Some cops preferred the realism of the training over the use of real-life actors, and the cost and convenience of the tech, for many, was a big advantage.

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