WATCH: Saint Cloud Police Dept. gets new state-of-the-art interactive training simulator

SAINT CLOUD, Fla. — Police in Saint Cloud are working with new technology that they say will help them better respond to different types of incidents.


Chief Douglas Goerke invited members of the media to the police department Friday for a demonstration of the new system.

With a 300-degree field of view and 4K-resolution, “VirTra” training scenarios are designed to be particularly realistic.

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The simulator allows the officers to train on versions of the actual gear they use every day that have been adapted for the simulations, including handguns, tasers and pepper spray.

Decisions the officers make during the simulated scenarios can actually alter the outcome of each virtual encounter.

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Chief Goerke says the main purpose of the equipment and training is to help his officers develop their communication and problem-solving skills to help de-escalate situations.

It offers more than 300 different interactive scenarios that help officers respond to difficult situations including encounters with people who struggle with mental health or who have special needs, like people with autism.

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“Trust and respect for the law enforcement organization, it comes from training and community engagement,” Chief Goerke said. “So we actually go out every single day and serve our community and I want our officers to be prepared for, unfortunately, anything...critical incidents, anything they might come across. "

VirTra costs a one-time fee $300,000. It’s been in use at the Saint Cloud Police Department for about three months.

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Q Mccray

Q McCray, WFTV.com

Q McCray is an award-winning general assignment reporter.