Danbury police explore virtual reality in officer training

Danbury police explore virtual reality in officer training

DANBURY — Virtual reality is not part of the Danbury police officer training, but it could be.

Technology and weapons development company Axon Network showed staff at Danbury police headquarters on Thursday how virtual reality and simulator technology can better prepare officers for complex situations that require critical thinking and de-escalation.

“It’s really, really realistic,” Mayor Dean Esposito said after trying one of Axon’s training modules.

After putting on a virtual reality headset, Esposito was immersed twice in a scenario involving a schizophrenic man — first from the point of view of the man, then from the point of view of an off-duty police officer encountering him.

Virtual reality is one of the latest products Axon has been working on to improve policing, along with officer and community safety. The company began n 1993 making stun guns as Taser International, then moved on body cameras in the mid-2000s.

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