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File #: 2061-2019    Version: 1
Type: Ordinance Status: Passed
File created: 7/15/2019 In control: Public Safety Committee
On agenda: 7/22/2019 Final action: 7/25/2019
Title: To appropriate $81,000.00 within the Public Safety Initiative subfund for the Department of Public Safety to establish a virtual reality pilot program and purchase associated software and hardware, for the purposes of Police and Fire training, and to declare an emergency. ($81,000.00)
Sponsors: Mitchell Brown, Shannon G. Hardin
Attachments: 1. Ord 2061-2019 DAX coding
Explanation

BACKGROUND

The purpose of this ordinance is to appropriate $81,000.00 in the Public Safety Initiative subfund for the Department of Public Safety to establish a virtual reality (VR) pilot program and purchase associated software and hardware for the purposes of Police and Fire training. In order to pilot VR training within the Columbus Division of Police and Fire, Council worked with the divisions to identify projects that will prove the effectiveness of VR in the training environment.

The Division of Police has identified recruit firearms proficiency requirement to be the focus of their pilot. Each year, recruits from the Division are required to demonstrate proficiency with a firearm as a requirement for graduation. The identified pilot program would create a virtual shooting range in which recruits and training staff could identify weaknesses and approve upon mistakes. The virtual component will provide recruits with a realistic training scenario in which to improve their abilities while reducing the use of expensive ammunition. In addition, training staff will have the capability to insert variables into the module (i.e. weather, lighting, visibility) to best prepare recruits for the variables they will face as officers.

The Division of Fire has identified arson and fire investigation training to be the focus of their pilot. Fires are destructive and consume the evidence of their initiation as they grow. Investigators examine the fire scene and collect physical evidence to determine the cause of the fire, whether arson or accidental. Much of the expertise needed to successfully execute these difficult tasks relies on on-the-job, in-field training. Thus, investigators are dependent on real-life fires to train and further enhance their skills. Training in mock environments using VR will provide investigators much greater flexibility, both in place and time, to conduct training. VR training will allow trainees to examine multiple virtual fire s...

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