The Gage County Sheriff’s Office is using new technology to provide virtual training for deputies.
The department purchased a virtual reality training system to augment and enhance training for deputies and corrections officers on critical incidents and de-escalation training.
Sheriff Millard “Gus” Gustafson said the VR headset and equipment was included in a package when the department purchased new Tasers last year.
“It was our turnaround time for new Tasers and that was one of the things included we could get in the package,” he said. “It gives realistic scenarios to put you in a place where you need to decide if you want to use a Taser or not. There are additional scenarios as time goes on and it gives the deputy a real ability to make the appropriate choices.”
The equipment displays a scenario from several different perspectives. Depending on the actions taken by the trainee, the digital display provides various outcomes.
A deputy or corrections officer can get a “real feel” during the digital scenario they would not be able to get from a written course, a video, or even in-person training with live actors. A press release from the department stated an added bonus is the safety of conducting a training “in-house” and without requiring physical contact between trainees and/or other actors.