MORRISVILLE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — High-tech police training is now being rolled out at SUNY Morrisville to help keep the college campus safe. It’s designed to train officers virtually in different scenarios.
It’s not your typical police training. It’s advanced and high-tech.
So far, about four members of the SUNY Morrisville Police Department have gone through the training, including Officer Nedim Bektic. Bektic has been at SUNY for about a year now, previously working as a Oneida County Sheriff’s Deputy. He went through the training for the first time on Thursday.
“I think this is a really good training. It’s something that we used to do in the academy, practical’s where it’s actually live. This is more like a video game. But it still gets you excited and nervous of what’s going to happen,” said Officer Bektic.
Except it’s not a game, it’s an Apex Officer Training Simulator. The training is for law enforcement, allowing for all types of experiences in 20 different environments with thousands of scenarios. Officers are able to practice those real-life scenarios virtually.
“The scenarios can be almost anything. It’s limitless to a certain degree,” said Paul Field, Chief of Police at SUNY Morrisville.
From your routine traffic stops to a situation involving an active shooter or hostage. Each scenario is operated through a computer, allowing the user to control what’s happening.
“The neatest part about the system is that we can interact. We can actually talk to the officer while he’s in the scenario, and we can change it up as we go,” said Chief Field.
Chief Field went through the training himself and says he’s gone through similar training before, but this one is a game changer.
“The difference is it’s interactive, you get to move around, you’re not static. You have to react to whatever the scenario is, and as it changes, you have to change with the scenario,” said Chief Field.
The training isn’t just for police officers at SUNY Morrisville. But criminal justice students as well.
“This is a great thing to have. I don’t know how many students have even experienced it other than maybe a game set at home,” said Mark Blakeslee, criminal justice professor at SUNY Morrisville.
Blakeslee tried the training out for himself after working as a police officer for 29 years for the city of Binghamton, encouraging his students to give it a try.
In addition to SUNY Morrisville officers and criminal justice students utilizing the training. It will also be used at SUNY’s Police Academy to help train the new recruits.
“It’s something for me, being a police officer for about 5 and a half years. It’s something that I am used to, talking to people, calming people down, de-escalating situations,” said Officer Bektic.
University police officers across New York State will also be able to train on the new system.
Just another step closer to better preparing officers for the job.