After Viral Cop Shooting Video, Anaheim PD Wants Use of Force Simulators

Anaheim PD’s main station. Photo by Gabriel San Roman

Anaheim police are hoping to add some virtual reality to their training following the release of  a controversial video showing two cops firing 76 rounds during a deadly pursuit last summer. The department fired Kevin Pedersen, who fired 64 times alone, and placed his partner on leave. Amid a flurry of reassurances by top brass at a press conference last week about the shooting, Anaheim police chief Jorge Cisneros made quick mention of the use of force simulator to come.

The new technology may be approved as soon as this afternoon.

That’s when Anaheim city council will consider a $230,000 bid by VirTra, a Tempe, Arizona-based company, to provide the department with access to both a 180-degree and 300-degree simulator.

“The force option simulators selected through this bid process provide customizable, challenging, real-world scenario training to develop and build officer communication, decision-making and judgement skills,” a staff report reads. ” These state of the art high stress training evolutions also strengthen tactical de-escalation capabilities, and reflect the continued commitment of the Anaheim Police Department in ensuring its personnel are prepared and equipped to deliver the highest level of service possible while employing the minimal amount of force required.”

Here’s a look at VirTra’s 300-degree simulator. In this virtual scenario, a 17-year-old named “Juan” gets gunned down first before others are shot. Of course!


Federal grant money would cover the cost of the simulators under the Urban Area Security Initiative that combines Anaheim and Santa Ana into a single area the Weekly has long called: SanTanaheim! Both city police departments are set to house the new technology with all Orange County law enforcement agencies being able to access it.

In Blood Orange, a data-driven 2017 Weekly cover story on police shootings,  Anaheim and Santa Ana police departments tallied the most such incidents in the county between 2006-2016. Santa Ana had 27 police shootings, just three more than Anaheim.

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