New Technology for Police and Law Enforcement Academies

Virtual reality is revolutionizing law enforcement training academies at an alarming rate.

In today's political climate, police and law enforcement training academies are increasingly looking for ways to deliver training and courses that build on the rapidly changing policing requirements of recent years rather than repeating the mistakes of the past by adopting the same methods as were initially developed in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Specifically, the law enforcement academies are increasingly focusing on using virtual reality training technology to promote on the job skills, attitudes and knowledge that will help them reach and exceed customer service, public order and the highest ethical objectives.

VR Simulator for Criminal Justice Training Programs
VR Simulator for Criminal Justice Training Programs

Police academies throughout the country are experimenting with VR.

Although virtual reality training isn't as widespread as pundits predicted, it is growing at an alarming pace. The one niche that is growing faster than many expected is police academy training. Police academies are adopting virtual reality training technology and doing so at scale. Government procurement and adoption of new technology is often viewed as a slow moving dinosaur, but every month it seems that more and more police academies are experimenting with VR technology. In every state across the country law enforcement training academies are either experimenting with virtual reality training or virtual reality training is already part of the curriculum for their courses.

Some of you may be asking yourself is this a good thing? Is it really a good thing that training academies are adopting virtual reality training? The short answer is, yes. Absolutely yes. For starters, virtual reality training creates a safe, virtual simulation environment for trainers to practice their skills. Virtual reality training for law enforcement academies has the potential to improve police training and training outcomes. The advent of virtual reality technology has a lot to do with how police agencies can use the program to train officers.

VR adoption at police academies.

Since the BJS hasn't released a study on law enforcement training efforts in years, it's hard to determine just how widespread VR training is throughout police academies. Currently the best way to assess the market adoption is to take a look at Apex Officer, the leading VR platform utilized by police and law enforcement academies. Apex Officer has experienced a significant spike in demand over the last few years. To get a better understanding on how Apex Officer's VR Training Simulator helps law enforcement training academies accomplish their training goals, it's best to look at specific police academies and their use case. Examples of successful adoption of VR training in police officer training academies can be seen here:

If you're asking yourself, "what are the benefits of VR training for police academies?" A few specific examples come to mind:

  1. Safe and controlled training area
  2. Suitable for many different learning styles
  3. Little to no risk for an organization


Virtual reality's opportunity in training future police officers.

Virtual reality simulations are an increasingly viable and promising technology for public safety training. In an environment where traditional instruction methods are struggling to find a way to meet the needs of learners in the 21st century workforce, virtual reality could be an opportunity to meet that need. There have been multiple studies and research papers demonstrating the capacity of virtual reality to meet the goals of training, including the capability to deliver realistic simulations of realistic scenarios. For example, Apex Officer's VR Police Academy Training Simulator is being used by law enforcement academies across the country to prepare perspective police officers for the following scenarios and situations:

VR's role in improving policing and performance.

Virtual reality, which we can consider from this point of view as the use of virtual environments to provide immersive experiences in learning, may be used in the education of Police academies. Such use would improve the results that may be obtained, when applying the use of virtual reality for training purposes. According to various studies, virtual reality training could be even more relevant than the use of this same technology for improving the learning of new technical skills. The use of VR training can improve long-term cognitive performance in police officers. Although VR use in law enforcement academies is not widespread throughout the nation quite yet, when virtual reality technology is used properly it will create new levels of performance in Police training academies. Moreover, by the use of virtual reality police academies would also be able to improve the skills that students will acquire by this way, as well as improve psychological and emotional conditions.

About the Author

John Carter
Community and Engagement Manager

Community and Engagement Manager at Apex Officer