Tucson Morning Blend


Virtual reality training: Equipping officers to de-escalate

Posted: 3:27 PM, Dec 19, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-19 17:27:00-05

Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to protect the community in which they serve. Sometimes in situations that are perceived to be dangerous to an officer’s safety, lethal force has been used unnecessarily, with tragic consequences. This causes a rift between the police and citizens, who come to fear the very people who aim to protect them.

One answer to curbing preventable escalations could be improved training. In a nationwide study conducted by Axon of 500 law enforcement personnel, 85% of respondents believe there is a need for improved agency tools and resources in order to more effectively de-escalate dangerous situations. Additional study findings include:

  • Nine in 10 respondents agree that improved training on less-lethal tools, such as conducted energy weapons (CEWs), would result in reduced use of force when in the field.
  • 77% of respondents agree that things don’t go as planned “most of the time” when de-escalating situations in the field
  • Just over half (52%) of officers agree that current de-escalation training is “somewhat effective” at best