HOLLAND, Mich. — The Holland Department of Public Safety has a new way to train thanks to its new virtual simulator from Virtra.
About 60 officers with the department will have access to this new tool, which took years of work to get.
“If you’re not going through adequate training, then you’re not going to necessarily have the proper response,” Captain Robert Buursma said Wednesday when talking with FOX 17.
The company lists more than two dozen simulations, including active threat, de-escalation and mental illness exercises.
Captain Buursma says this will help his officers to prepare better for situations they don’t encounter often on the job.
“To make it, artificially, a more frequent occurrence of them going through the training. Should they ever now encounter one of these situations in real life, they’ll be better prepared and better trained to handle that situation properly,” added Buursma.
Holland police officers typically train at least once a month. With the new simulator, officers will have to clock in 40 hours a year.
Buursma told FOX 17, once in the simulator, officers will have every tool, including guns and tasers.
“It may just be soft, empty-hand techniques. It may just be a stance of maybe getting behind cover, maybe verbal, talking to that individual, trying to talk them down, trying to, you know, work through the appropriate level,” he added. “Instructors have an opportunity to give immediate feedback and then, depending on what happened, put the officer right back into the exact same scenario again and allow them to work it through until we get the outcome that we desire.”
The simulator cost just fewer than $130,000.
The department paid for it using money from the “Municipal Capital Improvement Fund.”