Dothan Police Department unveils new virtual training simultaor

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -- Every day the men in blue protect and defend their community, never knowing what challenges they may face.

Now the Dothan Police Department has a new virtual training simulator to help prepare them for potentially dangerous situations.

The DPD unveiled their Meggitt Simulator, a tool they use for real-life scenarios.

"This is something we've had for about two months now, it's been up and running. This is one of our new training props out here to help us to do some scenario-based training for our recruits and also for our fulltime officers," Jason Penn, training lieutenant said.

The state of the art training system at the Wiregrass Public Safety Center can simulate more than 800 different situations.....

"This helps them be prepared whenever they face scenarios similar to this. We've got domestics, traffic stops, active shooter and we can do basic marksmanship training in here as well," Penn said.

The simulator starts by giving a brief description of the situation you are about to encounter, then once in the position......

"The officers can react with it, they can interact with it and we can dictate how the scenario plays out. So if they're not using verbal commands, they're not communicating well verbally then we can make the scenario escalate. If they are using proper verbal commands and good directions to the suspect then we can deescalate the scenario," Penn said.

The realistic video, sound, and weapons sharpens officers decision-making skills.

"It gets people kind of use to maintaining their shooting skills without having to waste the ammunition or burn up a lot of ammunition," Penn said.

And with 160 men on the force at DPD, this is a way they can take their training to the next level.

"That's really important, you never know when something is going to happen and so it kind of helps them to be prepared and have that mindset," Penn said.

DPD is offering this simulator for different organizations and businesses in the community at the Wiregrass Public Safety Center.

You can contact them at (334) 615-3402.