Sheriff's Office Virtually Fights Crime

Jeffrey Schaub
November 13, 2019 - 12:23 pm
Marin County Sheriff's Department officers have used virtual reality to train for real-life interactions.

Jeffrey Schaub/KCBS Radio

The Marin County Sheriff’s Department is using a virtual reality system to better train its officers on deescalation tactics. 

The $125,000 machine, called the “force option simulator,” takes up an entire room. It consists of 180-degree floor-to-ceiling video screens, and runs imitation of police situations such as dealing with a mentally ill man causing a disturbance inside a government building or conducting a routine traffic stop.

Officers in the Marin County sheriff's department use a simulator to train for routine traffic stops, dealing with a mentally ill man and other situations.
Jeffrey Schaub/KCBS Radio

“And that allows us to create an immersive training environment that, you know, creates stressful situations, but also that’s in a stale environment where we can train and debrief afterwards,” said Marin County Sheriff’s spokesperson Brenton Schneider. 

The simulator allows deputies to practice tactics that they’ve previously learned relating to deescalation, verbal communication and force, said Schneider.  

Other Marin County law enforcement agencies will also use the technology.