How simulators can help your agency maintain training during a crisis
Simulators can be set up almost anywhere to provide critical flexibility, essential skills development and crisis-specific training
Sponsored by Laser Shot
By PoliceOne BrandFocus Staff
Police work is an up-close-and-personal kind of business. So when an infectious disease crisis like COVID-19 requires police officers to keep their distance from each other, altering their routines to cope with this threat without compromising their skills is no simple matter.
A case in point: One area where officers come together is the gun range, where they train to keep their shooting skills sharp. To promote social distancing, many departments are cutting back on shooting range time – or closing their ranges completely – during the COVID-19 outbreak. When it comes to the dangers of person-to-person infection, it’s just safer that way.
Police are facing unprecedented obstacles dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, but you can’t let it affect your readiness. Marksmanship is a critical skill for every officer, and regular firearms training is necessary to keep officers at the top of their game, with lower risks to themselves and their colleagues (and the general public) as a result.
Helping officers maintain their shooting skills while social distancing is where portable virtual ranges, such as those made by Laser Shot, can help. Laser Shot’s simulation technology – the virtual range technology used by the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Maryland and agencies including the Secret Service – combines high-resolution graphics with simulated weapons to provide an immersive and realistic environment to train officers without live-fire drills in physical shooting ranges.
Because it’s a virtual system, Laser Shot’s firearm simulations can be run anywhere the equipment is set up and with as much physical distance between students as recommended for their health and safety.
A pioneer of firearms simulation training
Based in Stafford, Texas, Laser Shot has been pioneering the use of both virtual and live-fire gun ranges since 1999. Today, it offers a multitude of marksmanship simulation options, from portable systems in rolling cases (and over-the-road trailers) to sophisticated modular indoor training ranges and shoot house facilities.
Their simulated recoil training weapons provide realistic form, fit and function to users as they fire at interactive computer screens that report real-time training data to the instructor, such as points of impact, time between shots, etc.
Laser Shot’s portable systems can be set up almost anywhere. These systems include the SimRange, which packs everything needed to set up a virtual firing range inside in a Pelican case that can be easily transported by one person. The SimRange features shot hit detection with sub-pixel accuracy and allows police officers to train in low-light conditions and shoot moving targets, and trainers can create their own dynamic use-of-force scenarios or choose from Laser Shot’s library of more than 1,000 scenarios.
The benefits of Laser Shot during a pandemic
The benefits of Laser Shot’s computer-based systems can be crucial during a crisis like COVID-19 where agencies have to be flexible and officers have to maintain social distancing.
1. First, these computer-based training systems can be controlled wirelessly by instructors. This allows them to maintain a safe physical distance from their students at all times, while still being able to provide guidance and support during training sessions. Instructors can safely train officers in use-of force-and de-escalation scenarios in a controlled one-on-one environment.
2. Next, the computer-based scoring built into Laser Shot’s firearms simulations allows the department to train one officer at a time, unattended, 24 hours a day. This means that officers can be safely separated by scheduling, in addition to physical distance.
3. Third, the portable nature of the SimRange and other Laser Shot firearms simulators means that these systems can be moved from location to location as needed, and the system’s durable surfaces and firearms can be disinfected between users. This maximizes the system’s availability without compromising officers’ health.
Note: The disinfection (killing germs with a chemical solution) of Laser Shot equipment must take place after cleaning (removal of visible dirt and grime) to keep COVID-19 viruses at bay. Laser Shot can advise police departments on the appropriate cleaners and disinfectants to use on their training systems.
4. Fourth, rapidly developing situations, such as the current pandemic, can result in officers being deployed far away from physical gun ranges. Also, those agencies that use public ranges may find them temporarily shuttered by a state or local stay-at-home order. In those instances, Laser Shot’s portable training simulations can fill the gaps without requiring the construction of bullet-resistant areas and the shipment of ammunition resources to temporary sites.
5. Finally, the many training simulations provided by Laser Shot allow departments to adapt quickly to provide training for emerging issues. They can also create custom scenarios for mission-specific situations or new protocols. This is particularly useful during unique circumstances like a pandemic, where standard procedures may not apply.
The bottom line: Laser Shot’s portable firearms training simulations provide useful tools to help law enforcement adapt and maintain critical training during uncertain times, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Visit Laser Shot for more information.
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