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Halton Regional Police Service to implement virtual reality training program in 2020


December 5, 2019
By Staff
Left to right: HRPS Deputy Chief Roger Wilkie, Axon Managing Director Vishal Dhir, and HRPS Training Bureau Staff Sgt. Dave Tutte.

The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) has become the first law enforcement agency in Canada to partner with Axon for its virtual reality (VR) empathy training program through Axon Academy, a network of online and in-person training for law enforcement. HRPS has received 20 Oculus Go headsets to begin training their internal teams and will officially launch their program in the first quarter of 2020.

HRPS says it is deploying Axon’s VR empathy-based training in an effort to increase community safety following an increasing number of mental health calls seen in the region.

The program provides officers with an immersive training experience where trainees can put themselves in the shoes of both the officer responding to the scene and the person in crisis. With this deployment, HRPS will have access to three different VR training scenarios that Axon currently offers: autism, schizophrenia and suicide empathy training. The agency will also gain access to future training scenarios as they are developed.

“Axon’s innovative empathy-based training will complement our existing training program and further enable our frontline officers to manage and de-escalate potentially high-stakes interactions,” says HRPS Deputy Chief Roger Wilkie. “This partnership with Axon will ultimately serve to bolster community safety and well-being.”

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Watch a video demonstration of one of the programs being implemented here.

Axon’s empathy development training is currently available to law enforcement agencies in the Canada and the U.S. For more information on the program or to contact the team, visit www.axon.com/training.