West Fargo Police to receive virtual reality training system

(West Fargo, ND) — A new training tool is coming to the West Fargo Police Department.

City Commissioners approved a $95,000 virtual reality training system on Monday night at their regular commission meeting. The purchase will be made using Public Safety Sales Tax funds.

The Street Smarts VR system has exclusive features including an arrangement with the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT). The ALERRT training model is endorsed by the FBI as the gold standard of active shooter training. This training includes pre-made, scripted active shooter scenarios to practice room clearing and crime scene processing scenarios.

“The addition of the Street Smarts VR system will push our officers to the next level with training on hundreds of real-life scenarios,” said Chief Pete Nielsen. “This new training tool will benefit our officers, staff and the community as we continue to meet the growing needs of our metro region.”

The Street Smarts VR system allows officers to train in various real-world scenarios including content on responding to mental health calls for service, new to the system in 2024. The mental health scenarios are developed by mental health professionals to ensure the actions depicted are accurately captured. The West Fargo Police Department is the first agency in North Dakota to have a VR training system.