The Silicon Slopes team recently had the opportunity to participate in the Utah Attorney General's Office VirTra Training. The VirTra system is a computer system that uses video clips that have been recorded in real environments to interact with officers and individuals on the training platform.

The VirTra system includes many scenarios, each with hundreds of different endings depending on what the individual on the platform says or does. This allows training in real-life situations without the possible negative consequences. It also provides officers the opportunity to practice de-escalation and crisis communication skills in a way not possible at a static range.

Officers must be so quick to react in situations that it is said they are making decisions between heart beats. When they have practiced and received training in systems like the VirTra system, it allows them to be more confident in those split second decisions as they have encountered similar situations in these simulations.

In addition, one of the largest benefits of the VirTra system is the opportunity it gives officers to practice crisis communication and de-escalation tactics. The largest tool officers have to use is communication. The more they are able to practice their communication skills, the better they will be at de-escalating situations and preventing the use of force in high-stress situations. With the VirTra system, situations can change drastically depending on what officers not only do but also say. This practice is critical in helping officers understand how their communication can change or impact situations they may encounter.

The use of the VirTra system has helped officers build trust in their communities as they receive more advanced practice and training. In addition, individuals in the community who participate in the VirTra training are better able to understand the quick decisions officers have to make in daily situations they encounter. For more information on the VirTra system, visit VirTra.com.