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Tulsa police using virtual reality for training

Posted at 9:32 PM, Mar 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-02 07:43:29-05

TULSA, Okla. — Officers with the Tulsa Police Department are going through a new type of training.

TPD officers are using virtual reality for some of their training. Officers at TPD’s Mingo Valley division started their virtual reality training about a month ago. For the training, one officer will put on a set of goggles and headphones. Another officer will control the situation through a laptop.

They will speak to the training officer through a microphone and act out the scenario that’s virtually unraveling through the officer’s goggles.

“It allows us to recreate scenarios really fast,” says Officer Brandt. “It helps us save time. With virtual reality, all we have to do is hit a reset button and we can just start another iteration.”

Officers can create any scenario they want. From active shooter situations to traffic stops. The VR training allows officers to practice communication and de-escalation. Wednesday’s scenario involved a man going through a mental health crisis.

“It’s the same call notes and it’s the same situation, but it all evolves differently,” says Officer McGlynn. “One time the suspect is combative, another time they are cooperative.”

Officer Brandt says he doesn’t think VR training will ever replace current training, but it will give officers more experience, quicker.

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