Taipei, January 11 (CNA) The National Police Agency (NPA) has completed the installation of Taiwan’s first virtual reality (VR) police training system at seven police departments and institutions across Taiwan to prepare police officers for tough situations in the line of duty.
The VR systems were installed by the police departments of New Taipei, Taoyuan, Kaohsiung, and Chiayi County, and the Railway Police Bureau, Taiwan Police College, and the First Special Police Corps 6th Corps by the end of last year at the expense of NT. $45 million (US$1.47 million), according to the agency.
While some local police forces had received immersive augmented reality (AR) police training systems under a special project launched in 2020, the VR training systems are the first of their kind in Taiwan and offer new training features, said the NPA.
They require users to wear headsets, while AR systems do not, which use projection screens, enabling the simulation of various settings, including karaoke bars, concourses, train carriages and checkpoints.
Through such simulations, officers are trained to be more aware of their surroundings, giving them the opportunity to practice their skills and become more familiar with situations that require them to use weapons, improving their performance in a crisis , said the NPA.
Trained officers can be prepared for a wide range of situations, such as when there is provocation, threats, attempts to flee, or attacks by suspects, where they must respond quickly and appropriately, the NPA said.
The system also allows officers to simulate talking to suspects, choosing from different types of police weapons and deciding when to fire their gun, and there’s even a “multiplayer” mode where multiple officers can train at the same time to provide “backup”. to their colleagues.
The renewed emphasis on training police officers to handle unexpected situations or crises came after the death of railway police officer Lee Cheng-han (李承翰).
Lee was executed in 2019 at the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) Chiayi Station by a mentally ill passenger riding without a ticket who had argued with the conductor before Lee was called to the scene.
Former NPA Director-General Chen Ja-chin (陳家欽) said in 2020 that after Lee’s death, the NPA was given a budget of NT$480 million to acquire and install situational simulation firing ranges around Taiwan to improve police capabilities exercise quick and sound judgment in the performance of their duties.
The NPA said it plans to purchase more VR training systems to install at other police departments and institutions, and ask instructors to help create virtual environments based on past missions that will make training more realistic and its scope will expand.