A-State police receive grant for training

by George Jared ([email protected]) 271 views 

The Department of Public Safety Equipment Grant Program issued a $100,000 grant to the Arkansas State University Police Department (UPD) for advanced training.

UPD is one of 113 police agencies across the state that will be receiving grant funds as part of a $7 million program created with Act 786 signed in 2021 by former Gov. Asa Hutchinson. They will use the $100,000 received to purchase a virtual simulation training program called VirTra V-180.

“The addition of the VIRTRA V-180 will allow us to immerse the officer in a simulated training environment where they will be faced with judgmental use of force, weapons manipulation, de-escalation, active threat/active killer, duty to intervene, Behavior Analysis Threat response and other complex scenarios such as working with persons experiencing mental illness,” said UPD Chief Randy Martin.

According to the grant proposal, continued training of law enforcement is needed.

“A way to supplement this training is through the use of virtual simulators. These simulators allow for training in multiple disciplines without the cost of travel, overtime and ammunition,” he said.

Martin said the training simulator includes physiological responses to the officer. Afterwards, the officer and trainer can review the after-action structured scenario debrief report.

“The training it provides will better prepare the officer to respond to, and handle effectively, those lower frequency responses that are high risk in nature. The goal is to provide the officers the training and experience necessary to help avoid use of force situations and create better outcomes for police and community interactions,” said Martin.

Martin said they plan to purchase the system in the next few months. Once installed they will begin training their 22 officers on staff. The $100,000 received by UPD is the maximum amount awarded by the grant.