Racine Police Dept. using new simulator to help improve communication, de-escalation skills

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RACINE, Wis. (CBS 58) – The Racine Police Department has new equipment aimed to help with communication and de-escalation tactics.

The department recently got the simulator up and running which goes through life-like situations. Those situations can be changed by the second by a trainer.

“They [officers] are immersed in a scenario with real actors that can change on the fly,” Racine Police Department Sgt. Kevin Sell said. “It forces them to communicate to people on the screen like they would communication to somebody in public.”

There are more than 200 scenarios officers can go through including active shooters and mental health situations. After the session ends, the officer can watch it back and see the impact their decisions, movements and speech had.

“Communication can be one of the hardest things to train if you don’t have any feedback,” Sell said. “When we can induce some levels of stress and work with them on their communication, that’s what it’s going to be like when they’re out on the streets.

The simulator cost around $170,000. The department hopes to have 180 officers trained on it by summer.

Sell said they also hope to get community groups to try out the simulator and work through situations that may help them in different roles.

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