Virtual Simulator Helps Criminal Justice Students Prepare

The Rogue Community College criminal justice department recently obtained a new tool to help students virtually train for the wide variety of situations that law enforcement and corrections officers could face on the job.

RCC Criminal Justice Department Chair Jeanine Henriques, far left, operates the department’s new MILO Range simulator during an open house demonstration in August 2017.

The MILO Range Advanced System Simulator is loaded with more than 700 interactive scenarios that are projected onto a wall or screen, allowing students to safely step into realistic role-play situations that range from routine traffic stops to active-shooter events. While the simulator resembles a life-sized video game (and users say it’s fun), the specialized training technology is designed to bridge the gap between classroom scenarios and real-life situations.

In some scenarios, the simulator allows instructors to control the way the situation plays out: During a traffic stop, the driver on the screen reaches into the glove box and pulls out his vehicle registration. Play the scene again, and maybe he pulls out a gun. The trainee needs to be prepared to deal with either situation. The simulator allows the instructor to pause and play back scenarios in order debrief and review with students. 

The simulator, which cost about $25,000, was purchased with funds from the RCC Non-Computer Tech Fee. Students pay a fee of $2 per credit toward the fund, which last year awarded more than $250,000 to 19 programs for the purchase of non-computer technology. The portable MILO simulator includes a projector, screen, speakers and the simulation software as well as a starter pack of laser-modified pistols, spray devices and flashlights. Additional training devices, such as tasers, can be purchased in the future if needed.

In addition to providing for more realistic role play, the simulator acts as a virtual range for target practice — without the expense of ammunition. 

Jeanine Henriques, chair of the Criminal Justice department, hosted a series of open house days this month to introduce the new technology to the public as well as interested students, faculty and staff. Henriques said the college plans to make the technology available to local law enforcement agencies for their ongoing training efforts. “A big part of RCC is our collaboration with the community,” Henriques said.

RCC’s criminal justice programs provide academic preparation for working in law enforcement, court and corrections environments. The programs, located on the Table Rock Campus in White City, are designed to prepare students for entry-level careers in law enforcement and corrections; prepare students to transfer to other institutions for advanced studies in law enforcement; and to provide continuing education and training for professionals and volunteers in law enforcement fields. Students can earn an associate of applied science degree in criminal justice or criminology from RCC.

For more information about the RCC’s criminal justice department, visit the college website. To learn more about the MILO Range simulators, visit www.faac.com/milo-range/.

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