DALLAS — The results of two virtual reality (VR) simulation studies, which have been used to assess police officers’ knowledge and attitudes about fair and impartial policing, were presented to conference attendees on Tuesday. of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
Dutch police have developed a virtual reality simulation game for individual officers to complete a range of tasks, including detecting someone “showing deviant behavior”.
During gameplay, the officer can move through a variety of branching scenarios. If things go wrong in the simulation, the agent has the option to defuse. After completing the scenarios, participants reflect on their choices with other participants. Studies have shown positive results in improving knowledge and constructive attitudes towards fair and impartial policing.
Watch this video to better understand the program. (To note: You may need to enable English subtitles.)
Memorable Quotes About Virtual Reality Training
Here are several quotes from Bas Böing, a captain in the Dutch National Police:
“[Bias is] the use of criteria such as race, color, language, religion, nationality or origin of rating or ethics in control, surveillance or investigation activities, without reasonable justification and objective.
“We don’t want officers [during the VR simulation] select suspects according to their intuition, because what we see is based on our experience.
“It’s expensive to make good immersive content. If you run it on 300 devices with thousands of cops, you have a better ROI.
Key takeaways about using virtual reality for bias training
Böing’s presentation on virtual reality (VR) was well received by an engaged audience, and he answered questions from attendees representing departments around the world. Here are four main takeaways from Böing’s presentation.
1. Bias impacts policing
According to Böing, bias makes police work less effective, diminishes public trust, diminishes the community’s willingness to comply and cooperate with the police, and corrupts data systems. Bias can also reduce participation in learning, avoiding activities and not following policies.
2. The virtues of virtual reality
Virtual reality, based on Böing’s experience, has greater officer participation because it is new. “The fun factor of virtual reality can motivate people to participate,” he said. Additionally, virtual reality can distract participants from anxiety, physical pain, and emotional pain.
Interactive gameplay, using virtual reality, can provide direct feedback after each attempt, which can enhance learning. Like other types of games or simulations, researchers can use virtual reality in control experiments to assess its effectiveness.
3. VR training sequence
Virtual reality games are part of a two-day training program. After completing the simulation, participants, in groups of five to 10 officers, discuss what they saw and explain the choices they made. Officers, hearing different conclusions, learn from each other in the context of departmental policy.
4. Results of the experiment
More than 15,000 police officers have completed the training in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. Police officers participating in the VR research gained knowledge, became more resilient, and had more conversations about the quality of police stops and the prevention of ethnic profiling.
Although they have already learned a lot, Böing discussed the need for continued research, including repeated exposure to multiple scenarios, integration of deep counterfeit technology, and application to other needs.
Learn more about VR training for police
Learn more about the training program at vr-surveillance.com. Police1 has many articles, videos, and other resources on virtual reality and virtual reality police training, including the on-demand webinar, The Role of Virtual Reality in Police Training and Community Policing.
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