Virtual training simulator to help prepare St. Charles police officers

City Council's Government Services Committee recommends moving forward with VirTra subscription training and equipment partnership program

ST. CHARLES – A proposal to install a state-of-the-art virtual training simulator in the St. Charles police station is moving forward.

At the City Council's Government Services Committee meeting on Monday, aldermen unanimously recommended moving forward with the VirTra subscription training and equipment partnership program as part of a five-year contract. The committee's recommendation will now go to the full City Council for approval.

The $188,833 cost would include a start-up payment of $7,440 and five annual installment payments of $36,278.

St. Charles Deputy Police Chief Erik Mahan told aldermen the simulator would provide opportunities for officers to be placed in realistic scenarios and situations where they will need to react and make decisions under pressure.

"This type of training provides the opportunity to employ intervention strategies for police to help individuals in crisis with a goal of minimizing the need for physical or deadly force," Mahan said in a memo to aldermen. "The system does also provide opportunity for proficiency training with firearms and less-lethal weapons at a significant cost savings in comparison with the use of live rounds."

Police officers would have to react to scenarios involving active shooters, domestic violence, emotionally disturbed persons, suicidal subjects and traffic stops. Law enforcement equipment escrow account funds would be used to pay for the simulator.

"Those are funds distributed to the city through court fines/fees, etc.," Mahan said.