We know that training is paramount in the public safety profession. Law enforcement is sworn to serve and protect, but in order to protect you need to be prepared for a given scenario. It’s unrealistic to assume officers will encounter every possible scenario time and time again in the field, and some scenarios are hard to replicate in training, thus it is difficult for law enforcement to build muscle memory and proficiency through repetition for many high-pressure scenarios.
How do we solve for this? We certainly can’t tell our officers to simply go and seek out high-pressure situations in the field solely so they can learn. To train for situations we may not have seen before, we need to simulate similar conditions to help officers build muscle memory stress responses. We believe we have created a product capable of achieving just this.
Last month, Axon officially launched Simulator Training, the next piece of our Axon VR Training Platform. Simulator Training enables officers to sharpen their skills whenever, wherever on wireless virtual reality headsets. Trainees learn safe practices for handling and firing both TASER energy weapons and firearms, and practice de-escalation techniques in dynamic and realistic scenarios that require real-time assessment, split-second decision-making and use of TASER energy weapons and training firearms.
Simulator Training creates realistic conditions that allow trainees to build muscle memory by responding to situations they may have never encountered in the field. Simulator training unlocks limitless variables that can be introduced and changed in real-time by trainers as trainees assess situations, give verbal commands and make split-second decisions, including drawing on their TASER energy weapon and training firearms should a situation demand.
Simulator Training integrates with Axon hardware. Your “virtual” TASER weapon in Simulator Training is your real duty TASER 7 weapon, loaded with VR cartridges that allow the weapon to be used in virtual environments. Training with real-world weapons and tools ensures the feel, grip and weight of tools feels the same in the field.
Now, giving trainees ample opportunity to train is great, but how can we make sure trainees are making progress, rather than repeating mistakes over and over, introducing training scars that will hurt them in the field?
Simulator Training creates detailed after-action reports and video recordings that offer analytics and insight into an officer’s performance and progress. Simply put, after training is completed, trainers are able to review session performance with trainees in order to coach and develop their skills. After review, instructors have the option to store all or a subset of the after-action report in Axon Academy.
Public safety has a duty to protect life, but they also have a genuine desire to do so. Public safety wants to make a positive impact, and when they are faced with a scenario in the field they were not trained to respond to, that is not a personal failure for the officer, that is a reflection of our failure as agencies and public safety partners to prepare them for their job.
Axon VR Simulator Training allows officers to practice and refine their real-world skills in VR anytime, anywhere at a fraction of the cost. It gives them peace of mind that they are not just preparing for the less than 1% of scenarios that require the use of force, but for the other 99% that do not. And at the end of the day, this should give communities peace of mind as well, knowing that those who have sworn to serve and protect them will have the skills needed to do just that when the moment arises.