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Buffalo PD using virtual reality to simulate active threats, used for de-escalation training

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The Buffalo Police Department is using technology to help train their officers to de-escalate potentially dangerous situations.

According to WKBW, officers stand in front of the Virta Simulator, a 180-degree video system, and interact with what they see on the screens.

Officers could be faced with an aggressive animal, domestic dispute, or active shooter situation. They are given a modified Glock with an air cartridge equipped with a laser targeting system that tracks the officer’s shooting.

Each of the 180 scenarios is designed to teach officers how to control different situations and to de-escalate the tension, but some simulations require the officer to use deadly force.

“In some of the situations an officer will be compliant, in some they won’t and it could unfold in an unknown direction,” Captain Rinaldo said.

The $75,000 simulator was installed in December.

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