Police departments from four Lower Mainland cities joined forces to create a new high-tech training facility for law enforcement practice.
The Delta Police Department (DPD) stated in a news release that five Metro Vancouver police agencies launched the Regional Municipal Training Centre in Delta today (March 2).
The City of Delta provided a city-owned facility for centre with a purpose-built structure for a high-tech simulator that offers an immersive environment, a classroom, and a mat room for practicing control techniques.
The simulator consists of five large screens to surround a student, with real-time audio linked to a computer that is operated by a trainer to provide hundreds of interactive scenarios.
The simulator cost $286,000, and expenses will be shared by Delta, New Westminster, Port Moody, Metro Vancouver Transit, and West Vancouver police departments.
Training begins this week for de-escalation and use-of-force scenarios.
DPD Deputy Chief Norm Lipinski explained in a news release that the main priority is not on target practice but to provide police with the opportunity to practice decision-making within high-pressure situations.
“It’s designed to create psychological stressors like an elevated heart rate and the high levels of adrenaline that officers experience during dangerous situations,” Deputy Chief Lipinski stated. “Each training scenario has several branching paths to a resolution. There are multiple possible outcomes, determined by the officer’s behaviour.”
In the simulator scenarios, police officers will have to assess the verbal and non-verbal cues of people they are interacting with.
After the scenario, the trainer and the participant can review and discuss the actions taken, and the officer can return to undergo the scenario again.
Deputy Chief Lipinski explained that this simulator replaces scenarios staged with actors on locations, which are expensive, time-consuming, and resource-intensive.