Axon Empathy Development Training in Virtual Reality (VR) provides agencies with a low-cost, easily-accessible training option to support their Use of Force or Crisis Intervention training programs. Produced in collaboration with experts in crisis intervention as well as clinicians and behavioral analysts, Axon's VR-based content is delivered in a 360-Video on an Oculus Go headset, and provides trainees with a first-person point-of-view of both a subject in crisis and a responding officer in various scenarios. Officers will make choices within the training that will affect the scenario's outcome with the intention of successfully de-escalating the subject.
ADDRESSING A CRITICAL TRAINING NEED
Research indicates that 25-50% of all lethal force deaths by police affect individuals with untreated severe mental illness.* Axon's Empathy Development Training VR is an exploration on the use of Virtual Reality technologies to help address the gaps in knowledge on interacting with persons in crisis by providing trainees the ability to experience mental health episodes from a POV perspective.
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In these training scenarios, trainees will learn a number of crisis intervention and de-escalation skills, including:
- An understanding of what an individual in crisis is experiencing as law enforcement are called on scene.
- The ability to describe basic symptomology of psychiatric or developmental conditions.
- The ability to identify best practices in verbal de-escalation and use of force for individuals in crisis.
At Axon, we are dedicated to building innovative technologies that protect life. That is why we are utilizing state-of-the-art virtual reality technology to provide officers with an accurate first-person perspective of an individual in a state of crisis, which ultimately informs them of different symptoms and stressors and how best to handle them. Not only does virtual reality provide the most immersive and realistic experience possible, the technology has also been shown to have higher rates of memory retention than traditional educational tools.
This technology will help officers apply these learned soft skills in difficult, high-stakes situations. However, Axon VR is meant to complement and augment, not remove, the real-life engagement that drives learning.
As an early adopter of the program, agencies will receive access to Axon's Schizophrenia, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Suicidal Ideation modules. Our next modules are currently in development.