VirTra Brentwood Police Training firearms simluator

The Brentwood Police Department will have a new state-of-the art firearms training simulator system in its new police headquarters that is scheduled to open in the spring of 2021. 

The simulator was approved as part of the consent agenda in Monday night's City Commission meeting and will replace the department's current "Ti" system. 

The new simulator will be set up in an entire room on the first floor of the headquarters, and according to the online agenda, will be paid for through contract initiation payments, including a one time total cost of $7,570, which includes setup and training for $6,270 and shipping and handling for $1,300, which will be paid with money budgeted for the HQ project in the Capital Projects Fund.

The new VirTra system will also include an annual subscription payment of $47,718 will include all warranty and maintenance for up to five years, which will be covered by the General Fund.

BPD Chief Jeff Hughes said in a news release that the technology is an essential upgrade that will allow officers to train in a virtual climate on decision-making scenarios pertaining to use of force including de-escalation tactics.

“Despite our continued training on proficiency, police find they are more likely to be criticized for their decision making when it comes to shoot/don’t shoot. In those few seconds an officer decides to shoot or not, there are a lot of factors running through one’s mind,” Hughes said.

“One of the major benefits of using the professionally produced scenarios on the VirTra Simulator is the cultivation of effective verbal communication (de-escalation skills) with subjects during tense situations."

The simulator will include two AR-15 rifles drop-in kits with four magazines, two Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm pistols with six magazines, two X2 Taser weapons, two OC Canisters and access to an entire library of training scenarios.

Some of those training scenarios include curriculum designed to help law enforcement professionals bridge the communication gap and interact more effectively, and positively, with individuals with autism, as well as active shooter training.

"The controller can control what happens in the scenario based on the officer’s actions, so that will give them the opportunity to practice de-escalation skills," Hughes said.

"Just like with the Citizens Police Academy, we allow citizens and the public to experience this because you get a real feeling for what it’s like to be in a situation and know what’s going through an officer’s mind and what it feels like to have to shoot or not shoot."

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