Technology Helps Train Police Officers


Around the country for the past few weeks, protests have erupted over the killing of George Floyd. The arrests kindle renewed outrage over the deaths of black Americans like Brianna Taylor Eric Garner Michael Brown among many others and the mistreatment of people of Color by police. The protests have also sparked and national reckoning for many police departments. They've been trying to reduce the use of lethal force and improve accountability among other things through training. From The Wall Street Journal this is the future of everything I'm Janet Baben. Today on the show we'll consider the future of police training with virtual reality technology. What's most powerful about the are? You're able to create worlds and circumstances and experiences that you wouldn't be able to create in the real world that can help you shift your perspective, which is really different than a training. We'll speak with researchers about how the brain perceives are and whether it can address bias. Notwithstanding or conscious beliefs or conscious convictions, and we'll talk about why a future developments in Vr police training may fall short. Tell me why you shot. Shot because he was within that zone, you know I felt there was leased departments have long used actors playing and instructional videos to train officers to deal with real life scenarios, but this can be. Pricey and not very realistic. People who make and sell virtual reality say the technology can improve training. If you play video games. You're probably familiar with VR. It's been around for a while, but we asked Wall Street Journal attack video game reporter Sara Needham, in to explain virtual reality is all encompassing. It's a matter of hardware so when you put on APR headset. Everything you see up down left right turnaround. Everything is in there virtual world one hundred percent. You cannot see anything else, so you feel very immersed the main difference between VR other video simulations you can actually interact with this computer generated three D world. It's so. That Sarah says you can get sucked in and lose yourself. I experienced this myself. playing a racing game where I was sitting down very low, and we felt like a cockpit of a vehicle, and as we went around the turns, I literally felt like we were going to crash into the wall, because I wasn't driving very well, and it scared me. For Police. It's not about the thrill or fear of race track. It's about learning how to lean into the fear and still be able to deal with it calmly. If you feel like you've done something before been in a situation before. You're better at knowing how to react. You can practice your actions in these potentially life, threatening situations and hopefully resolve altercations peacefully. We'll talk more about this in just a bit. It's one of the reasons that some of the biggest law enforcement groups in the country like the Los Angeles. Police Department are turning to Vr. The LAPD has a history connected to police, misconduct and misuse force. In Nineteen ninety-one. Were caught on tape brutally beating motorist Rodney. King a black, man. The officers acquitted of criminal charges sparking riots in Los Angeles. In the early two thousands. The department was put under Federal Investigation for. Engaging in a pattern or practice of excessive force, false arrests and unreasonable searches and seizures, the government came in with what's known as a consent decree to change the culture in the LAPD. Dr. Lou Pinella joined the department in the middle of all that in two thousand five. The Rodney King incident put a laser focus on LAPD, tactics and training as well. I believe that we have continued to expand on that every year, both by how we work with our community and the training that we offer. She's the director of Police Training and education at the LAPD and she revamped its training. Process Department currently trains officers with something called a forced option simulator. It's often referred to as first generation. VR says it trains police in real life scenarios you walk into a room and one walls, completely blank and on their, we will project a scenario that an officer has to handle. Handle, it could be anything from a person in a park to a bank robbery to an office scenario, workplace violence scenario, something like that and officers will get a call, and they'll come into the room and and try to respond to what is in front of them. In the meantime, there's a instructor at the back of the room who be on a computer. Computer and as the scenario unfolding, they are able to branch in different directions, where either the officers are calming, the situation down, or it becomes more difficult to handle

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