Why simulation training in ICT technologies is considered a useful tool for Law Enforcement Agencies?

EXUS, July 2017

Europe nowadays is facing the fear of terrorism where exceedingly violent attacks have taken place in public places, terrifying citizens and keeping Law Enforcement Agents (LEAs) in a state of constant alert. In some of these incidents, the LEAs have been forced to make use of their weapons in order to prevent terrorists from attacking the people. To this end, training sessions for the LEAs is critical to ensuring an effective and appropriate response.

However, are shooting situations the only case that agents need training on how to react? Why not try to incorporate a plethora of difficult situations and incidents that may arise in their everyday professional life? Nowadays, with the always-present fear of terror attacks, the need to train the Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) in such complex situations, is imperative. The ultimate goal of suitable training programs, such as the Law Enforcement Agency Operators (LEAO) simulator being developed as part of the INSPEC2T project, is to enable the agents to make such decisions effectively and at the same time to be able to justify their actions in a non-disputable way and thus to avoid liability rulings. In addition, it seems that intelligence-gathering and stronger links with the community will do more to keep the cities safer.

On the above rational the use of new information technologies that have massively increased in the past few years must be adopted. Thus, as the world is going digital, LEAs must grow in line and adapt the technology trends, developing new capabilities in preventing, deterring and detecting crimes. The INSPEC2T tools being developed are designed to enable LEAs to take advantage of these technology trends.

Figure 1 INSPEC2T mobile application

The unique specifications of LEA organizations should not be an obstacle for the early adoption of information technologies. The solution is that LEA agents should follow training programs which can be fully adapted to their specific operational needs. The associated advantages of the use of new Information Communication Technologies (ICT) allow the creation of agile and flexible environments that encourage learning in a structured and supported manner.

In order to stay ahead in the fight against physical and cyber-related crimes, LEA agents should make use of advanced training techniques in ICT platforms which promote citizen’s engagement and strengthen the ties between LEAs and the local communities. Through these platforms, people are incentivized to come forward, even anonymously, and share valuable information with LEAs, transforming their neighborhood into a safety network. It is beyond doubt that these two communities must collaborate closely to improve the welfare of the people living in this community.

Figure 2 INSPEC2T Training Simulator

In INSPEC2T the Simulator intends to train Law Enforcement Agency Operators (LEAO) by simulating incident reports as if they were submitted by real citizens through different communication means like a mobile application, web portal etc. Then the LEAOs will be called to respond just the way they should in a real situation.

Concluding, simulation training platforms are also advantageous for LEA agents to enhance their automatic responses when operating in different scenarios with which officers are frequently presented. Repeated practice of such cases can also be beneficial for the trainees in terms of building the appropriate confidence for handling new technologies and means of communication, in order to efficiently prevent crime incidents.