Danville Police Department practices de-escalation tactics, use of force with real-life virtual simulations

DANVILLE, Va. – With policing practices and training once again in the spotlight, the Danville Police Department is emphasizing the importance of their real-life simulations training program.

The MILO Range training simulator uses a fake gun, fake pepper spray, and a fake taser for officers to practice with while life-like situations like an active shooter call, a domestic dispute, or a traffic stop play out on a screen in front of them.

“It puts them in real-life scenarios where they have to act. They have to make decisions. It allows us to give them instant feedback,” said Sergeant Chris Morris.

The simulation also allows officers to practice their de-escalation skills.

“We are looking for situational awareness. Do they see the threats? De-escalation is obviously a big thing,” said Sergeant Morris.

10 News reporter Sydney Jaxtheimer took the opportunity to try the MILO Range simulator.

Another opportunity this type of simulation offers is the different types of force that officers can use, to deter officers from only reaching for their firearm when someone is not complying.

“Instead of just having a firearm, they have the ability to use a firearm, a taser or OC [pepper spray]. It allows us to be locked into a situation, a bad training stall of them using their firearm all the time,” said Sergeant Morris.

Captain Steve Richardson said officers would typically partake in the MILO training annually.

Since moving to their new station, they have a designated area for the simulator to give officers even more training opportunities.

“We knew when we got in this building. This was going to be a weekly, monthly regular training event. Best reducing the chance of having those terrible situations,” said Captain Richardson.

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