Loras College in partnership with Northeast Iowa Community College and the Dubuque County Sherriff’s Office, will employ the “Judgmental Use of Force Simulator” in its new class beginning this fall. The new hands-on course features the only four-dimensional training system in the state of Iowa.
The VirTra 300 Law Enforcement Judgmental Use of Force Simulator, housed inside the NICC Town Clock Business Center in downtown Dubuque, immerses users with a wireless, interactive 300-degree experience via five 8×10-foot screens, directional audio and a platform that rumbles underfoot, adding the sense of touch to the sight and sound events.
Initially, 16 students will be selected to participate in the simulator training. Bell, along with law enforcement officials, will work together to choose from 180 scenarios appropriate for them.
The simulator uses laser technology via a full range of law enforcement weaponry fitted with laser emitters. A carbon dioxide charge operates the action of the weapon, providing an accurate feel for trainees. Sensors behind the screens detect the shots, and virtual characters within the scenario respond appropriately.
In other news, Loras College is the only school in Iowa to make a list of the top 25 schools for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). About one in 59 children has been identified with ASD according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
While the ranking by Best Value Schools starts with annual tuition cost, the research group focused on Loras’ ARCH Program. The four-year program, launched in 2015, is designed to help students with ASD thrive emotionally, academically, and socially. Students work directly with certified autism specialists to hone skills ranging from self-advocacy and organization to stress management and socialization, in addition to earning their bachelor’s degree.