Federal budget funds $175,000 Virtual Reality training for Chesterfield Sheriff’s Office


CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WRIC) — The federal government has granted the Chesterfield Sheriff’s Office $175,000 to start a virtual reality training program for sheriff’s deputies.

The funding, sponsored by Representative Abigail Spanberger, will be used to purchase a VR system featuring “realistic simulations that increase proficiency in de-escalation and crisis intervention skills.”

Spanberger currently represents portions of Chesterfield, though her district was recently shifted further North, and no longer includes the county.

“This capability is a safe and very realistic method to train our deputies on how to respond to different situations they may face on the job that can be specifically tailored to our environment,” said Sheriff Karl Leonard. “This eclipses the outdated and limited traditional shoot or don’t shoot simulators previously used in law enforcement.”

According to a press release from the congresswoman’s office, the program is designed to reduce use-of-force by the sheriff’s office, which oversees the county jail and security at the county courthouse.