VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – 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, through grant money, the department purchased the MILO training simulator. It’s a computer system equipped with more than 1,000 scenarios that put officers, recruits, and even citizens through real-life training.
What it allows us to do is immerse our officers in scenarios that we know they’re going to find themselves in out on the street,” said Police Chief Paul Neudigate.
Examples include responding to a call for someone dealing with a mental health crisis, going to a home where Child Protective Services needs to step in, initiating traffic stops, and controlling active shooter situations.
Each scenario is different but plausible in Virginia Beach, forcing officers, in a split-second, to make the right call.
“It’s all about slowing things down and bringing resources to the table and try to avoid rushing into a scenario,” Neudigate said. “When we have distance, and we have cover, that gives our officers time, and when we have time, we can communicate. De-escalation is all about two-way communication.”