YORK, Pa. (WHTM) — The Northern York County Regional Police Department (NYCRPD) is awaiting a new tool that brings a fresh perspective to police training — virtual reality.
The NYCRPD has signed a five-year pre-paid subscription sale for WRAP Reality, a simulation training platform that brings officers into real-world situations with the help of virtual reality.
The new tools allows officers to replicate real-world scenarios in a fully-immersive, 360-degree simulated environment with the goal of bettering daily interactions with community members.
In an online statement, the NYCRPD said it is excited to integrate WRAP Reality VR into its training regimen.
“The 360-degree immersive experience of WRAP Reality is far superior to the projection screen-based simulator we previously utilized,” said NYCRPD Chief David Lash. “Because we have many young police officers in our department, the ability to move and take cover, look under or over objects, and face threats from all directions allows us to put our officers into stressful situations under controlled conditions.”
But the benefits don’t end there.
In addition to training current police officers, the department plans to implement the system during its hiring process as an additional way to evaluate candidates’ abilities.
Funding was established from more than half-a-dozen partners.
“When WRAP Reality was introduced to our community partners and foundations, they were so impressed with the capabilities of the system and our plans for its use that they provided us with the funding for a five-year subscription,” added Chief Lash.
The NYCRPD is expected to receive its system on Thursday, April 22, 2021. During the delivery process, NYCRPD Officers will be trained in setup and operation of the device.
A preview of the WRAP Reality system can be found on the companies YouTube page.
“Our goal is to provide a de-escalation platform for first responders through the combination of the BolaWrap remote restraint devices and WRAP Reality’s virtual training,” said Tom Smith, CEO and President of WRAP. “We are excited to support NYCRPD as the first agency to purchase WRAP Reality’s subscription offering along with the BolaWrap devices, which provide solutions for law enforcement to provide better training and tools to help create safer outcomes.”
The department introduced BolaWraps in December 2020, which are described as remote handcuffs. They’re one of the only tools police can use to apprehend a suspect from a distance without causing any pain.