Assemblyman Santabarbara Announces Funding for Schenectady Police Department

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara announced $50,000 in state funding Friday that he secured for the Schenectady Police Department to purchase and implement the VRPD system.

VRPD is a virtual reality (VR) de-escalation training tool developed by Catapult Games. Police trainees using the VR system are able to engage in simulated real-world situations that require them to determine how to best de-escalate encounters while on patrol. An operator controls the type of situations the trainee may be subjected to from a nearby computer and can offer a number of changing environments. 

“This VRPD system is an invaluable resource for our community and sets a great example of how to adapt technology in police training,” said Assemblyman Santabarbara. “Securing this funding for the Schenectady Police Department was an important step that now allows us to implement this unique training that simulates various scenarios that officers may encounter so they can be prepared to de-escalate unexpected situations as they arise,” Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara added.

“The Schenectady Police Department is thankful to Assemblyman Santabarbara for helping to fund this important technology that will aid the department and its efforts to engage with the community,” said City of Schenectady Police Chief Eric Clifford. “Virtual reality training has the ability to give officers more regular training and the ability to practice the skills necessary to de-escalate conflicts successfully. Assemblyman Santabarbara’s continuous support of the police department and our efforts to improve is appreciated.”