VirTra Simulator training Dubuque County officers
Hands-on training is a new requirement for cops across the country. The five screen, 300 degree simulator at the Midwest Gang Conference in Dubuque exemplifies this idea.
Anyone who attended the conference could step into the simulator and feel what it is like to be in a high stress situation.
Police were trying out the VirTra model on Monday, but in the next couple months, Dubuque will get a simulator of its own. Northeast Iowa Community College and the Dubuque County Sheriff's Office are each paying $170,000 and the state is providing another $80,000.
The key idea behind the simulator is that everything is exactly as it would be on the scene. The weapons are the same; they are just gas-operated and have a laser target.
Learning how to use their voices and reacting in spilt second decision making can be taught with the VirTra Simulator. Depending on what the student needs to work on, the simulator can be adjusted for that training.
"The change is based on what the instructor wants to see so if the instructor wants to see something specific with a student, then they can manipulate the scenario, it's never going to be the same,” Mike Duke, a designer for the situations, said.
The Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office expects to have their own Virtra 300 Simulator by the end of July. Any cop in the county is welcome to train on it.