VR Training for Police and Military – Part 1

Published on November 18th, 2018 by Debi Christensen

VR Training for police and military has changed academy instruction for the better.

Traditionally, both police and military personnel rely on learning classroom curriculum and engaging in field training. Most of their initial training consists of 8-10 hours a day. Additionally, the military incorporates training opportunities that take place in the middle of the night.

VR-training-for police-and-military-immersive-situation

The idea is to simulate an immersive situation that requires participants to apply their knowledge and skills as they act and react in different scenarios. In theory, it’s a good plan, but it’s not without problems. Officers and soldiers must learn how to respond to danger quickly and safely.

Training challenges

Ask any officer or soldier, and they’ll tell you where their training falls short:

  • Classroom textbook readings – One of the worse training methods, reading about how to respond to crime puts law enforcement and military personnel in the position of passive observer. Even if they are asked to summarize, analyze, or evaluate what they’ve read, they are not engaged in response.
  • 2D screen training – The two-dimensional screen training places participants in a passive position. They watch the scene before them but cannot interact with it. Two-dimensional screen training is visually entertaining but hardly immersive.
  • Role-playing – A common law enforcement and military training technique consists of acting out scenarios. The challenge with a good cop/bad guy scenario is that the quality of the exercise depends on acting ability. Too often, the skits are superficial and predictable.
  • Live fire – Qualification training for officers and armed troops consists of safe weapons handling and marksmanship using service and military weapons. Shooting at stationary and moving targets is practical but also expensive, even if the ammo is purchased in bulk.

Training re-imagined

Optimal police and military training must be realistic and customized.

Acquiring background knowledge, and honing marksmanship skills are crucial for job success in law enforcement and the military, but they aren’t enough. Officers and soldiers must demonstrate good judgment in knowing when and how to apply force in any environment.


Police and military personnel must completely immerse themselves in scenarios that unfold before their eyes. They may find themselves walking into a neighborhood where they must confront gang members who threaten victims with knives, are called to respond to an active shooter, or have to secure a street. Like athletes, law and military personnel have to rely on their instincts as their adrenaline spikes, activating the fight or flight response.

That’s where VR training for police and military comes in to play.

Virtual reality simulations the best way to safely immerse trainees in life-or-death scenarios requiring immediate action and automatic reflexes. Respondents have only split-seconds in which to make a decision on how to respond. Officer and soldiers who train with virtual reality can make their choices without risk of serious injury or death. Personnel can re-enact scenarios, practicing their responses in situations that include a variety of settings and people.


More effective than traditional training for police and military personnel, VR engages participants in a way that even live fire training can’t match. Virtual reality training also is less costly than traditional simulations that require intensive (and expensive) preparation.

The necessity of using VR training for police and military is an obvious one. Virtual reality increases situational awareness among trainees. This training tool provides law enforcement and military personnel with the experience they need to engage in any crisis.