New virtual reality training scenarios in development aimed at reducing use-of-force
SEATTLE, Aug. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Axon (Nasdaq: AAXN), the global leader in connected public safety technologies today announced six new training scenarios as part of the Axon Virtual Reality (VR) Training program. The new scenarios include officer intervention training, post-traumatic stress injury (PTSI) training for both community members and officers, Alzheimer's/Dementia training and hard of hearing training. The first two new training scenarios, both based on peer intervention, will be available to agencies in the fourth quarter of 2020 with the additional four new trainings slated to be available in the first half of 2021. For more information visit: https://www.axon.com/vr-training.
Axon's new VR training scenarios are built to address the following: building empathy with community members that police officers are assisting in the field, officer preparedness and officer coping. The first two training scenarios being made available by the end of the year address peer intervention: how an officer can best determine when to step in if he or she sees a colleague acting inappropriately. The trainee is able to see the scene unfolding from both the point-of-view of the subject as well as the point-of-view of the officer responding to the scene. One scenario features a noise complaint call involving a resident who has had previous run-ins with the police. The second scenario features a homeless man who is panhandling on business property. In both scenarios, the trainee must decide which decisions to make while working with a fellow officer who demonstrates an obvious bias towards the subjects.
To develop the VR training scenarios, Axon works closely with community advocacy groups, mental health organizations, clinicians, law enforcement training experts and more. For the peer intervention training specifically, Axon worked with ABLE (Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement), a group dedicated to help prepare officers to successfully intervene to prevent harm, and EPIC (Ethical Policing is Courageous), a law enforcement peer intervention training program.
"Knowing when and how to stand up to your peers can be difficult in any industry – but especially in policing when faced with potentially volatile situations," says former police chief and current AI Ethics Board member, Kathleen O'Toole. "This immersive training will be very impactful as it will train officers to recognize when peers are acting inappropriately and empower them to intervene properly, resulting in successful, non-violent outcomes."
"After the events of this year, and the many tragic events that preceded 2020, it is clear that we need to offer law enforcement proactive versus reactive tools for reducing use of force," says Axon CEO and founder, Rick Smith. "Being trained on when not to deploy force is just as important as tactical training on how to deploy force, and that is what we are addressing with these new training modules. Our mission has always been to protect life and this training is a big step towards that goal."
The complete list of Axon VR Training currently in development includes:
Officer PTSI: This training helps officers identify, mitigate and cope with traumas they may encounter when in the field.
Hard of Hearing: This training helps officers to identify if a person they are addressing in the field has hearing loss and equips them with tools to communicate more effectively.
Community PTSI: This training helps officers to identify if a community member is experiencing some form of PTSI and introduce strategies for better communication.
Alzheimer's/Dementia: This training equips officers with strategies to better assist a person in the field who may be suffering from Alzheimer's/Dementia.
The training is available to agencies as part of the Officer Safety Plan 7+, the TASER Certification Plan or a la carte.
Axon is a network of devices, apps and people that helps public safety personnel become smarter and safer. With a mission of protecting life, our technologies give customers the confidence, focus and time they need to keep their communities safe. Our products impact every aspect of a public safety officer's day-to-day experience with the goal of helping everyone get home safe.
We work hard for those who put themselves in harm's way for all of us. To date, more than 237,000 lives and countless dollars have been saved with the Axon network of devices, apps and people. Learn more at www.axon.com or by calling (800) 978-2737. Axon is a global company with headquarters in Scottsdale, Ariz. and global software engineering hub in Seattle, Wash., as well as additional offices in Australia, Canada, Finland, Vietnam, the UK and the Netherlands.
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