The VR Training Unit at the Los Angeles Police Department has been expanding their VR POST-certified training curriculum since late 2022 when they first installed their large-scale system in the Elysian Park academy. Reinforcing their commitment to the VR police training tools, the LAPD has developed a use of force class taught completely through VR that has been certified by the California Peace Officer Standards and Training commission (POST).
Deputy Chief Marc Reina leads the LAPD VR Training Unit and has overseen its growth from the beginning. After honing their workflows over the past year, the VR Training Unit is now beginning to pilot the newly-accredited use of force curriculum. In a recent interview, Deputy Chief Reina said, “We felt because of the magnitude of VR and how it impacts training in such a positive way that we wanted to create our own course – an 8-hour POST-certified training course of different scenarios within the virtual reality world to train our officers. And if we were going to do that, we wanted to make it POST certified to show not only our department personnel, but personnel throughout the state and outside the state that the POST standard has been met.”
The curriculum is intended to allow officers to fulfill a portion of their regular cycle of perishable skills training or POST-certified training. Deputy Chief Reina went on to say, “So regardless if it is LAPD officers that are going through this training or a neighboring agency that wants to come over and go through it, they know they’re going through a training that’s been certified by the state and will count towards their overall hours they need in their two-year 24-hour cycle.”
LAPD Chief Michel Moore noted trends more broadly, “What I am hearing people say today that I didn’t hear three to five years ago are de-escalating terms, in dealing with individuals with edge weapons, people experiencing mental health crises, slowing things down, avoiding the use of loud shouts or lights. Those are all attributes that are being taught in VR as well as other parts of our training.”
To date, over 1,200 Los Angeles Police Department in-service officers have gone through some form of VR training in the agency’s custom-built system that currently resides in a 100-year-old multipurpose basketball court on their Elysian Park Academy campus. Twenty to thirty officers per day can train in the system that can accommodate up to ten people simultaneously in the same environment.
You can read more on V-Armed VR training with the LAPD in our latest Police1 article.