- Filmed with: Grand Rapids, MI Police Department
- Production Dates: October 2018
- Location: In/Around Grand Rapids MI locale—schools, parks, parking lots-typical places where juveniles congregate. Mid-American sized city police department
- Number of scenarios: 10
Training Topic (problem to be addressed): Department leadership wanted to leverage use of their MILO system to make a set of new training scenarios that addressed recent teen-related encounters and to help improve officers’ ability to interact with youths—to enhance verbal and non-verbal communication skills, improve responses to resistance from teens, and to rehearse and gain experience in contemporary juvenile law enforcement issues (fights over social media, drug and alcohol abuse, recognizing and responding to mental health issues, traffic violations, domestic issues..), and to help illustrate and visibly implement the GRPD’s new youth interaction policy in front of the community.
In late 2018, at the request of the leadership of the Grand Rapids Police Department, (a MILO Range Training Simulator customer since 2015), the staff at MILO Range Studios were asked to help develop a series of new training scenarios that would help to rehearse and enact the agency’s new youth interaction policy in a hands-on way for officers and citizens alike. Over the course of only a few weeks, ten new interactive training scenarios were developed with GRPD subject matter experts, with input coming from several groups that vetted drafts of the policy and provided feedback, including Grand Rapids Area Pastors, West Michigan Advocates and Leaders for Police and Community Trust, the Police Policy and Procedure Review Task Force, and the chief’s IMPACT youth advisory council. Public input was also taken into account at various community meetings.
Each scenario was designed with many different dynamic pathways, or outcomes, that could branch based on actions the officer took or that the instructor observed. Dozens of interactive on-the-fly-branches are used in the MILO systems to provide a wide range of decision-led outcomes available, particularly when it comes to escalation and de-escalation scenarios like these. The GRPD sought to immerse their officers in life-like scenarios that reflected not only recent incidents in the local news but also areas where they thought officers would likely encounter in the future, like mental health issues and social media-inspired conflicts.
Over a few days, MILO Range Studios—the professional media and scenario development arms of MILO Range Training Systems, shot about a dozen different scripted training scenarios in Ultra HD and 4K video on-location around the Ann Arbor, Michigan area using local, age-appropriate actors. Law Enforcement subject matter experts were on hand, to guide and shape the scenarios to make sure they were in policy and aligned with proper tactics and techniques that the department wanted to be present. Further, they conformed to local, state, and national policy and best practices for police encounters with youthful subjects. From this, ten scenarios were developed, edited, produced, and formatted for the MILO Range simulator software suite. Delivery and training on the new scenarios began immediately; the scenarios are now used by MILO customers nation-wide to train and rehearse to their policies on youth interactions. Many of the scenarios mirror the situations encountered by the GRPD officers and the policies that now define how to handle them. These and virtually all other MILO Range scenarios filmed and developed by the company are provided free to any MILO customer for the life of their MILO systems.
MILO Range Training Systems believes that the most important component of any of its simulators is the training scenarios provided with the systems, and the educational value they have in teaching and reinforcing important tactics and behaviors associated with each scenario concept. As times change, culture and practices change, and so must our ways of dealing with these situations as law enforcement officers and first responders. American youth and their parents are now often highly educated (usually from the internet and YouTube videos) on what their perceived rights are, and are quick to respond to any violation of those rights, real or imagined. Often, there may be multiple camera phones filming the incident, and a variety of agendas on the table. Through active development of scenarios to help counter that, the GRPD and its partners developed highly effective training scenarios for a variety of encounters that will be valid for many years to come. We salute the Grand Rapids Police Department for its proactive approach to modern police training and invite any other agency with interest in doing the same to contact MILO Range to talk about what we can do for them.
Interested in filming your own scenarios? Get our Guide to creating better Police training scenarios.