Use of Force Simulator

Two police officers draw their weapons in a simulation exercise. In partnership with the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office, Northeast Iowa Community College has installed a Virtra 300 Law Enforcement Judgmental Use of Force Simulator at the Town Clock Business Center in downtown Dubuque, just one block west of the Dubuque Law Enforcement Center.

The College provides certified firearms instructors or you can schedule your own. The full range of law enforcement weaponry (Glock 22 handguns, pepper spray, tasers, shotguns and M-4 semi-automatic rifles) is provided, and the interactive 300 degree simulation platform with five 8-by-10 screens. All of the weaponry is fitted with laser emitters and use a CO2 charge to operate the action of the weapon, providing an accurate feel to the officer. Sensors behind the screens detect the shots, and the character subjects respond appropriately.

Additionally, we have the capability to turn day into night, where a handheld flashlight is needed to see the scenarios.

Officers may opt to wear the College-provided Threat Fire device, which provides some negative feedback to the officer wearing it should they be struck. The object of this is two-fold; it teaches officers to fight through the discomfort and remain engaged in the firefight. It also can be used to alert the officer to a hostile threat that he or she isn’t looking for.

While the simulator can be used for marksmanship training, the real value it offers is exercising the officers’ shoot/don’t shoot split second decision making. Our training philosophy is we shouldn’t train until we can get it right, we should train until we cannot get it wrong. This opportunity has not previously been available for the law enforcement professions. In our simulator, officers can train until they achieve a documentable proficiency in their life and death decision making.

The Virtra 300 provides a four-dimensional world. Not only are officers immersed in a surround video array, but the audio is very directional, and the platform will rumble underfoot when appropriate, adding the sense of touch to the sight and sound events.