Enhancing Operational Police Training in High Stress Situations with Virtual Reality: Experiences, Tools and Guidelines

Olivia Zechner, Lisanne Kleygrewe, Emma Jaspaert, Helmut Georg Schrom-Feiertag, Vana Hutter, Manfred Tscheligi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Virtual Reality (VR) provides great opportunities for police officers to train decision-making and acting (DMA) in cognitively demanding and stressful situations. This paper presents a summary of findings from a three-year project, including requirements collected from experienced police trainers and industry experts, and quantitative and qualitative results of human factor studies and field trials. Findings include advantages of VR training such as the possibility to safely train high-risk situations in controllable and reproducible training environments, include a variety of avatars that would be difficult to use in real-life training (e.g., vulnerable populations or animals) and handle dangerous equipment (e.g., explosives) but also highlight challenges such as tracking, locomotion and intelligent virtual agents. The importance of strong alignment between training didactics and technical possibilities is highlighted and potential solutions presented. Furthermore training outcomes are transferable to real-world police duties and may apply to other domains that would benefit from simulation-based training.
Keywords: virtual reality; immersive technology; VR applications; human–computer interactions; human factors; police training
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
JournalMultimodal Technologies and Interaction
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2023

Research Field

  • Experience Business Transformation


  • virtual reality
  • immersive technology
  • VR applications
  • human–computer interactions
  • human factors
  • police training


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