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Kopper and Grandi receive grant from National Institute of Standards and Technology to integrate Virtual Reality training within the Hillsborough, NC Police Department

Assistant Professor Regis Kopper and Visiting Assistant Professor Jeronimo Grandi received a grant from the Public Safety Communications Research (PCSR) division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to expand their work on the Virtual Reality (VR) simulation of public safety user interfaces through a partnership with the Hillsborough, NC Police Department. The project aims to adapt current work on simulating next generation public safety user interfaces to support the simulation of current procedures for traffic stops,offering a user-friendly configurable simulation interface that will allow long term continued use and integration into training protocols.

The project contributes to the advancement of the technology for law enforcement training. The research team will employ VR as a simulation tool for traffic stop operations that will be suitable for integration into real-world training protocols. Through a partnership with North Carolina’s Hillsborough Police Department, the project aims to offer the ability for members of the police department to control different aspects of simulated traffic stops in training exercises.

The ultimate goal of this project is to enable another tool in police training which is highly configurable and enables the practice of potentially escalating scenarios that are otherwise difficult to train for using traditional methods. Part of the potential benefits of the project are to improve situational awareness and reduce the risk of unnecessary escalation due to uncertainty and lack of information that very often affect the execution of police traffic stops.