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Good Cop, Good Cop: Can VR Help to Make Policing Kinder?

January 9, 2020

As police forces in the US and elsewhere wrangle with accusations of bias and brutality, a quiet effort is underway using VR to boost empathy and reduce trigger responses. Some of the largest police forces in the US are experimenting with VR to build empathy, self-reflection and resilience, as well as hopefully shed their reputation for aggression.

Professor Albert ‘Skip’ Rizzo is a VR veteran stationed at the University of Southern California. He and his colleagues have been working with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) on a pilot project to help police officers build the resilience necessary in their line of work. He is optimistic about what VR could do for the police. “We’re not just willy-nilly throwing technology at problems: there’s a pretty solid rationale for this,” he said.

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