by Michelle Henderson 10/20/17
The Road to Realism
Meggitt at IACP 2017: In the shadow of Independence Hall, explore how we’re enhancing training beyond scenarios
As the IACP 2017 Annual Conference and Expo opens in Philadelphia on Saturday, Oct. 21, attendees will find a curriculum and exposition designed to meet fast-changing requirements. Education tracks will address such top-of-mind topics as use of force, active-shooter situations, community engagement, recruitment, body cameras and minority relations. Meanwhile the exposition will feature more than 600 exhibitors, many with hands-on demonstrations to extend this learning. This event, whose attendance last year was more than 16,000 – including delegates from 80 countries – always represents an excellent opportunity to accomplish a lot in just a few short days.
From Sunday through Tuesday, Meggitt will be there to welcome you at Booth 1909 in the Administration, Education & Training Pavilion.
In addition to our full array of virtual and live-fire technologies, we will be showcasing two unprecedented innovations: the FATS® 100P portable virtual training system and the Live-Fire Screen. We invite you to see these two game-changers in virtual and blended training. Each of these breakthroughs represents Meggitt’s continuing effort to make that training more realistic, available and accessible.
Such realism has become increasingly necessary due to the working environment of law enforcement officers. They must make decisions in harm’s way regarding the right tactic for the situation, an accelerating spectrum from verbal commands to lethal force. Yet they also do so in an arena where second-guessing, abetted by smart-phone videos, has become commonplace. Departmental superiors, the judicial system, the media and the populace all stand in retrospective judgment over actions where officers were often defending their lives with split-second choices.
Appropriately, the venue for the expo and education tracks, the Pennsylvania Convention Center, is a short walk from Independence Hall, the birthplace of the Constitution of the United States. Beginning in the 19th century, this early example of a written constitution began serving as a model for similar efforts by other countries. Today, all U.S. law enforcement officers must be conversant with how the Constitution constrains their actions. Constitutionality, as interpreted by the courts, ultimately determines use-of-force cases on criteria that explicitly prohibit second-guessing. The average citizen, however, has little knowledge of these factors and the careful reasoning behind them. So, often a great deal of controversy surrounds departments and individual officers, possibly making it more difficult to fulfill the mission of protecting and defending the community.
In designing its new products, Meggitt has taken these issues into consideration. Our aim is to enable departments to maximize top-quality training, making it available when needed.
The new FATS 100P portable virtual training system: full-function simulated training you can carry with you.
Most of the departments and agencies attending IACP have recently confronted one or more of the following challenges:
- We have limited resources and cannot afford simulation equipment for all our facilities. How can we share large, bulky virtual training resources across multiple locations, including closer to the field of action?
- We feel it is important that the press, public and activists understand the stresses of patrolling. How can we hold outreach events that vividly and memorably let them experience what law enforcement officers go through every day?
- It would be helpful for our communities and schools to gain a better sense of what we do. But the logistics of having them come to us would impair our work. How can we go to them in a meaningful way?
At IACP you can explore our solution to these questions: a lightweight virtual training system that fits into a carrying case the size of a range bag, yet has all the features and functions you would expect from robust FATS technology. The new FATS 100P has compact portability that lends itself to unprecedented applications. It further delivers the advanced functionality for both instructor and trainee that you would expect from a much larger system:
- Solid weapon handling
- Shot placement analytics
- Automatic marksmanship coaching tools
- Enhanced graphic capabilities for an all-encompassing immersive training platform
In working with our customers, we discovered that most departments and agencies would like to increase use-of-force training, but they can be blocked by logistical requirements. With the FATS 100P, one officer can deliver judgmental training with ease of transportation, set up and operation.
The FATS 100P employs Meggitt’s proven high-definition video scenarios to produce dynamic escalation and de-escalation or use-of-force training. This simulation demands that the user survey react to verbal cues, facial expressions and overall body language to assess a situation and interact with individuals using proper verbal commands and perishable skills training. Each scenario incorporates whole-task training that facilitates the transfer of skills learned during simulation into real-world situations.
The FATS 100P allows up to six weapon simulators used simultaneously, and comes with more than 250 video scenarios and 1,250 branching options. In conjunction with the scenarios, integrated video authoring allows the instructor to create, edit, score, load and run customer videos filmed locally in familiar locations.
During after-action review, the instructor and the trainee can analyze the latter’s actions and discuss proper technique and procedure. Using the feedback, the instructor can identify problematic areas and develop a personalized training plan. Though the equipment is lightweight, the training can be thorough and memorable.
The new Live-Fire Screen: Blending live fire with hundreds of video scenarios
While our customers have been appreciative of our large library of realistic scenarios, they have indicated that one principal thing is missing: the use of live-fire weapons and ballistics. At IACP, you will see how we have used our dual expertise in virtual and live-fire technology to solve this problem.
With Meggitt’s Live-Fire Screen, your officers can now train on the FATS 100LE or 100MIL virtual system in a live-fire range using real ammunition. The most advanced device on the market, the Live-Fire Screen integrates directly into the 100LE or 100MIL with the same software and courseware used with Meggitt’s patented BlueFire® wireless weapons.
In fact, while screen integrity is important to display a better picture for the trainee, the screen is not required to detect projectiles passing through. The system’s technology provides accurate placement of target hits. The self-healing screen itself is designed to withstand up to 50,000 rounds shot over the entire surface area before replacement of the material is necessary.
The logistically simple Live-Fire Screen system includes a sensing bar, rubber screen and deflector assemblies. The sensing bar cameras interface directly with the FATS system, and this simplicity empowers the most advanced hit detection in the industry.
The Live-Fire Screen’s technology determines the position of a hit, allowing a much shorter time between shots. In fact, we can quantify the delivery of two successive shots faster than any other screen available. Our microphone-based systems require approximately 50ms (due to the slower speed of sound compared to speed of light), while thermal-based systems require more than 500ms. Hit location accuracy is +/-0.5” across the entire screen with extreme accuracy in the center. The screen can be used with a variety of live-fire weapons, from revolvers to sub-machine guns, for a full range of training.
Meeting in the historic city of Philadelphia, IACP comes at an important time in the ongoing efforts of law enforcement training. We look forward not only to sharing our advances, but to discussing your individual departmental or agency requirements.
To see these and other products, or to speak with a Meggitt representative during IACP 2017, October 21-24 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, visit booth 1909 or schedule an appointment at our IACP Appointment Page.