One of the primary goals for any modern police force is to provide realistic, effective training that prepares officers for real-world situations. This is critically important not only for officer safety, but also for maintaining public trust.
There are a number of different ways that police forces can achieve this goal. One particularly effective approach is situational role-playing; which is training designed to produce an authentic, safe and dynamic replication of the operational environment. This type of reality-based training is being quickly adopted by law enforcement agencies to help officers hone their skills and develop better judgment when faced with real-world situations.
“Unrealistic training leads to unrealistic expectations and unrealistic expectations are deadly on the street.” – Jeff Chudwin
Ballistic training rounds and scenario based training can test law enforcement users in stressful and rapidly evolving situations that can span the entire use of force continuum. Stress on the trainee can be increased through the actions of role players and through the perceived potential for pain if shot with a ballistic training round. Ballistic training rounds, while remaining non lethal, are painful to be struck with and can leave welts or break skin. This potential for pain further drives the effectiveness of the training, because a fear of getting hit with a ballistic training round can influence police users to change their tactics and exhibit behaviours they may not otherwise show in a more controlled environment.
When adrenaline is up and users are being brought into these simulated encounters, weaknesses in training are quickly exposed. Skills that are not conditioned to the level of unconscious proficiency are revealed, and in the end this pressure results in a much more effective and applicable training experience.
Stress induced by role players and the pain penalty of getting hit is part of the training realism, but the participants must be responsibly protected from any serious damage. The head, face and neck are specific areas that require full protection, both from projectiles and from bump impacts. There have been many reports of serious injuries to police users wearing insufficient training equipment, or undisciplined use of gear during force-on-force training. Something as simple as lifting a visor to wipe away fog has in the past resulted in the loss of an eye for one law enforcement user.
The WARQ Pro helmet was designed with features built specifically for law enforcement training scenarios to keep the user protected and keep training as realistic as possible.