VirTra Inc., a provider of training simulators for the law enforcement, military, educational, and commercial markets, announced the 12 peace officers who have received scholarship awards from VirTra and Force Science Institute to attend a five-day Force Science Analyst Certification course, which is designed to better educate officers and improve their performance.

The winners include: Polk County Sheriff's Office, Iowa; Saint Peter Police Department, Minnesota; Stoughton Police Department, Massachusetts; O’Fallon Police Department, Missouri; Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, California; Cleveland Division of Police, Ohio; Monterey County Sheriff’s Office, California; Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office/Wilsonville Police Department, Oregon; Delta Police Department, British Columbia, Canada; Brighton Police Department, Colorado; and Erie County Detective Bureau, Pennsylvania.

The five-day program, taught by nine instructors, allows attendees to receive a Force Science Analyst Certification. The certification signals their proven ability to recognize multiple factors that impact human behavior in use-of-force encounters. By participating in complex, rapidly unfolding encounters, the officers will be introduced to the scientific realities that impact officer performance like stress, action/reaction time, memory, decision-making, and more. Winners will attend one of the courses scheduled for either October or November in Columbia, South Carolina, Omaha, Nebraska and Chicago, Illinois.

Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director and co-founder of the Force Science Institute added: “Preparation through effective training is key to increasing officer performance and decision-making in time compressed situations. VirTra has done a great job of integrating Force Science research into simulator scenarios. The partnership between VirTra and Force Science Institute encourages research-based and science-backed training, which is vital to furthering officer education to improve safety and performance.”

“Working with Force Science to develop a scholarship program helps further our goal of providing expert training to officers around the country,” said Jason Mulcahy, VirTra general manager. “VirTra’s hope is that each of the twelve officers will learn extensive and important concepts, which they can then take back to their respective agencies to better educate their colleagues and improve their departments and communities.”