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CFCC Advances Law Enforcement Training Programs with New VirTra Simulator

Wilmington, NC — Cape Fear Community College recently installed a new virtual reality training system designed to help officers improve how they respond to an active shooter, domestic violence, and other high-stress situations.

The VirTra® simulator is designed to save first responders’ and citizens’ lives by allowing officers to train in real-world scenarios in locations like a movie theater, a courthouse, and a school campus. The V-180® solution includes three large screens for a 180-degree immersive training environment. Outcomes are based on the actions taken by the police officer in real-time with multiple responses from on-screen persons. The immersive environment recreates psychological stressors like an elevated heart rate and high levels of adrenaline that officers experience during intense training.

CFCC is excited to have this additional training tool to expedite the time it takes to train new officers in the Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) program and improve current training for law enforcement programs within CFCC’s Economic and Workforce Development division. This tool can help make training more convenient and keep our community safer.

The VirTra system will provide realistic training opportunities for CFCC’s law enforcement programs in a safe environment. Students can use the simulator and then pause the scenario and review it with their trainer. Instructors can use the simulator to supplement their instruction on de-escalation, the use of force, and communicating with citizens of varying mental, developmental, and functional abilities.

“Law enforcement officers who are afforded the opportunity to train with the VirTra simulator will be able to practice their decision-making skills when it comes to the application of the use of force,” said Jim Varrone, CFCC Department Chair of Public Service. “In the real world, there are no do-overs. Our law enforcement partners can now practice in a simulated but realistic environment that allows trainees to get the decision-making experience necessary in contemporary policing.”

“We are excited to have this new training tool that will help our officers develop the best skills and be prepared for the field,” said Tim Fuss, Director of Law Enforcement Programs within CFCC’s Economic and Workforce Development division. “I’m also happy to see that this will be a big improvement in providing realistic training in the area of use of force and de-escalation tactics.”

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