The Central Michigan University Police Department, which plays a vital role in campus safety and security, is providing its officers with a training simulator that is preloaded with hundreds of scenarios that officers experience in the real world.
In early 2017, CMUPD installed a MILO Range 180 Theater system — a simulator that uses video and audio to engage officers with interactive real-life scenarios, such as traffic stops, burglaries, domestic disturbances and active shooters. Additionally, the department can record its own scenarios in on-campus buildings.
“Decision-making is one of the big things that any police officer faces,” Lt. Cameron Wassman said. “Real-life scenarios provide us with the opportunity to better train officers, including how to use different de-escalation techniques and how to diffuse situations without having to use force.”
The simulator allows officers to train individually and as a team.
“As we move forward, we will be inviting other law enforcement agencies in the area to use this system,” Wassman said. “On a day-to-day basis, we work closely with the other agencies. It only makes sense that we train with those other agencies.”
The system arms officers with simulated weapons that are retrofitted with infrared lasers, which contributes to the realism of the training experience. Additionally, many scenarios allow for the instructor to branch the experience in different directions to flow with what you want the officer to experience and do, Wassman said.