Virtual Training Benefits FDL County Sheriff’s Deputies
The Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Department uses virtual training to simulate weapon training scenarios. It’s done in the basement of Sheriff’s Department. Detective Pete Virgos says the screens and simulations they use for the virtual training is very realistic. He says, “You have an elevated platform that has five screens that cover about 300 degrees, actually do cover exactly 300 degrees around you and on those screens the trainee, the student who is typically an officer will utilize some type of weapon or instrument that has a laser ID in it.” The weapon or instrument the officer uses can simulate a gun, taser or pepper spray. To make it more realistic the officer has a device on their belt that will stun the officer if they are shot in the simulation. The threat levels vary from low risk up to situations that can simulate a suicidal subject with guns, barricaded subjects, armed assailants or active shooters. Vergos says, “We’re trying to develop some enhancements in judgment, your threat assessments for the officers, also peripheral threats that come up from the side because it covers 300 degrees. And largely stuff that is just hard to train like threats that are moving. It is hard to train functionally without some type of simulation.” Vergos says one of the key things is to put the deputy under an extreme amount of stress for a short period of time to force them to make decisions.