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Updated Aug 14, 2015 - 12:25 pm

Valley company redefines police training with virtual reality simulator

A look inside the virtual reality shooting simulator offered for officers at VirTra. (Facebook/VirTra Systems, Inc.)

PHOENIX — A Phoenix-area law enforcement technology company is helping officers prepare for the worst through virtual reality active shooter training.

VirTra offers a wide variety of training situations for officers, including a deadly domestic violence call, a disabled veteran hiding a weapon from police and multiple shooters on the loose inside a school.

Step inside a 300-degree, wraparound screen and users find themselves in an officer’s shoes.

“If we are not helping our officers or providing them the training to help them prepare to be involved in these encounters it is going to come back and hurt us,” Scott DiIullo, Federal Law Enforcement Business Development Manager at VirTra, said.

The situations programmed into VirTra are based on real life possibilities and instructors can change what the suspects on screen do through a computer depending on how officers handle the situation.

“If we are not putting officers through that type of decision-making and challenging them and preparing them and letting them train through that, we are doing them a disservice,” Dilullo said.

About 200 law enforcement agencies around the world are using VirTra to train officers, including border patrol offices in Tucson and Yuma.

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