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Police Department looks to get Virtual Training Simulator

New Bern Police take initial steps to get training equipment
Published: Jun. 25, 2020 at 7:38 PM EDT
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New Bern, N.C. (WITN) - In an effort to provide officers with better training, the New Bern Police Department is taking steps to get a virtual training simulator.

NBPD Officer
NBPD Officer(witn)

It’s called a VirTra System and it provides the officer using it a 300 degree view of all kinds of different training situations. The police department was given the okay to move forward with plans to purchase the simulator during a New Bern Board of Alderman meeting on Tuesday.

Captain Marquie Morrison-Brown presented the idea to the aldermen at Tuesday’s meeting, she says having this training is crucial to keeping officers and the community safe.

“It provides officers or any personnel with real life experiences or scenarios that they can use to train and the most important aspect of training is to make it as realistic and safe as possible. That way officers learn specific tips and for example, ways to deescalate situations which is very important in today’s society,” said Capt. Morrison-Brown.

Leaders in the department will now beginning working with the Public Works department and Craven Community College to update a building on the campus of the Volt Center near downtown.

Craig Ramey, Communications Director for the college says this program will also be used for Basic Law Enforcement training at the college. “The real benefit of this program is that it’s going to allow law enforcement to work through all different types of law enforcement situations so they’re learning how they might react in the real world before they’re actually in that situation,” said Ramey.

The Volt center is where the college currently houses it’s workforce development center. The room where the equipment is housed will need several updates including sound proofing.

The VirTra system can provide officers with numerous situations and help them work through deescalation skills and use of force, among several others. "

Captain Morrison-Brown says this equipment is interactive and can be changed throughout any given scenario to mimic how a real life situation could unfold.

“We can take shots and scenes from around the city whether it’s the school or the New Bern mall and actually upload those images, and then we can overlay them into different scenarios whether it’s a deescalation scenario or a use of force scenario, and the officer and based upon his response can determine what the trainer will select in order for the scenario to further,” said Capt. Morrison-Brown.

Right now the closest training simulator like this is at Nash Community College. Craven Community College officials say they hope one day this equipment will be able to be used by law enforcement agencies around the Eastern North Carolina.

There is no official time table on when the equipment will be purchased or up and running at this point, but officers say they are excited and pushing for this to happen as soon as possible.

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