OPD upgrades police situation simulator

Posted at 6:31 PM, Mar 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-29 19:32:18-04

New technology is helping Omaha police officers keep your family safe, and it's not a new weapon but instead how they train.

OPD recently upgraded to the Virtra V300, which is the newest in police simulation.  Officers can go through 177 different situations including domestic, a hostage, or possible drug bust.  They learn to make split second decisions.

"Every time our officers go through this they experienced elevated heart rate, elevated stress level, they can work on their communication skills, all those things an officer can experience during that rapidly evolving encounter they can experience within the simulator,” Ofc. Matt Austin explained.
Officers say having a 300 degree view point and breach door helps them train for more realistic possibilities.
In one scenario they deal with people who only speak Spanish.  OPD says most officers know how to say their commands in Spanish.

They're reviewed on how they deal with an armed person, or unknown people, reorganization for back-up, and if the officer acts appropriately.

"The ultimate goal is to have officers make good decisions on the street, to protect the lives and the citizenry of Omaha,” Ofc. Austin concluded.

The Virtra system cost about $230,000 and was paid for by the department’s budget.

The goal is to have every Omaha officer train in the simulator by 2018.