Virginia Beach Police Boost Officer Training With New MILO Simulator
VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia – A split-second decision can mean the difference between life and death, which is why Virginia Beach Police are revamping the way officers are trained.
In April, with grants, the ministry purchased the MILO training simulator. It is a computer system, with more than 1000 scenarios, which allows officers, recruits and even citizens to undergo real-world training.
“What this allows us to do is immerse our officers in scenarios where we know they are going to end up on the streets,” Police Chief Paul Neudigate said.
Examples include responding to a call for someone experiencing a mental health crisis, going to a home where child welfare services are required to respond, triggering traffic stops, and controlling active shooter situations.
Each scenario is different, but plausible in Virginia Beach, forcing agents, in a fraction of a second, to make the right call.
“It’s about slowing things down and bringing resources to the table and trying to avoid rushing into a scenario,” Neudigate said. “When we have distance and we have coverage, it gives our agents time, and when we have time, we can communicate. De-escalation is about two-way communication.”
The weapon systems that work with MILO are all laser based, which means that the projectiles do not come out of any of the “weapons”.
The officers who undergo the training are also equipped with full equipment, just as they would be on the street.
Neudigate said the department is scanning body camera images weekly and supervisors are pointing out where current agents can improve.
“A number of times we’ve had positive results and we’ve watched BWC and we’re like, ‘OK, that was a good result, but not necessarily a good tactic that got us there. “So when we start to look at that, as part of identifying bad tactics, or maybe bad decision making, we’re going to identify those officers and of course send them back here to the training academy. to review some MILO scenarios. ”
In the future, the department hopes to upgrade the system, allowing it to take into account incidents in Virginia Beach and eventually turn them into MILO scenarios.
This is an opportunity to learn from the mistakes made within the City Station.
In the future, the community is also invited to experience the training simulator. If you’re interested, you can contact the Public Affairs Office at [email protected] or (757) 385-4097.
News 3 asked the ministry if it had seen a decrease in use of force tactics since the new technology was implemented, but they said it was still too early to tell.