Sheriffs in Virginia will begin implementing VR training for crisis intervention, de-escalation, and use of force.

The Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) will receive $175,000 to purchase a VR training system, thanks to legislation from Abigail Spanberger (D).

Representative Spanberger secured the funds through the House-and-Senate-passed 2023 end-of-year government funding package that Joe Biden signed last Friday.

“As law enforcement officers respond to a variety of calls, they deserve the best resources available to prepare, de-escalate each situation, and to keep themselves safe,” says Spanberger in a press release. “I have heard from the Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office about the need for updated training simulation equipment, and I am proud to have led the effort to successfully secure funding for this new virtual reality system.”

VR is the Future of Training

The CCSO will use the funding for a VR system that features precise eye, hand, and body tracking for optimal training.

Spanberger’s Office says the system will give trainees realistic simulations to improve de-escalation and crisis intervention skills.

According to Spanberger, the investment will improve the safety of law enforcement and the community and reduce use-of-force incidents.

Chesterfield County Sheriff Karl Leonard says VR is the next step in situational training, overshadowing more-obsolete methods.

“Virtual reality weapons training simulators bring 21st century technology to the Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office by providing a state-of-the-art training system that develops higher-performing deputies with dynamic experiences that enhance performance, communications, critical thinking, and de-escalation skills,” says Chesterfield County Sheriff Leonard. “This capability is a safe and very realistic method to train our deputies on how to respond to different situations they may face on the job that can be specifically tailored to our environment. This eclipses the outdated and limited traditional shoot or don’t shoot simulators previously used in law enforcement.”

By Benjie Cooper

Raised on geek culture, Benjie has been in cannabis news since 2014, and a consumer since long before that. Before starting CannaGeek, he wrote for the Candid Chronicle and co-hosted the Nug Life Radio Show.

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