Virtual Reality in Law and Law Enforcement

Preparing Officers and Lawyers to Take On Crime

While immersive technologies are known for providing entertaining experiences, the use of augmented and virtual reality in law enforcement is making headway. 

The following examples illustrate how police and lawyers use AR/VR in practice today. As more legal entities recognize its value in assisted preparation and investigations, more use cases will emerge.

Virtual Reality in Police School

The responsibilities of police officers and similar law enforcement professionals are diverse and vital to society. That’s why they must receive thorough and accurate job training. Unfortunately, training officers effectively is challenging. Because police have various responsibilities, they must undergo many types of training to prepare for the scenarios that may arise. Organizing these training sessions requires a substantial degree of time and resources.

Virtual reality in law enforcement is changing that. There are many ways virtual reality can provide training opportunities at a low cost. One company trains law enforcement officers to experience real interactions with people in a state of crisis. However, there’s a twist: the VR program allows officers to experience these interactions from the perspective of the individual they would be confronting.

Of course, virtual reality can also teach officers basic skills, such as pursuing a vehicle. That said, unique applications such as virtual reality de-escalation training are valuable. Those diagnosed with mental health disorders are more likely to be victims of violence than violent themselves. Thus, they should not be stigmatized. Research indicates that at least 25% of fatal police shootings occur when officers interact with a person experiencing a severe mental health illness.

Being able to understand better how people in crisis perceive those confronting them can help officers more effectively determine how they should behave in these situations. As a result, officers may learn to avoid certain behaviors that can trigger someone to act violently.

Virtual Reality in Law School

Law enforcement officers aren’t the only ones who can benefit from virtual reality training. At the University of North Texas Dallas College of Law, students developed a low-budget 360-degree virtual reality experience that immersed them in a theoretical crime scene. One of the university’s criminal law professors was so impressed with the simulation that they’ve pushed to make it part of the law school curriculum. The immersive quality of virtual VR provides dynamic training opportunities that aren’t available in a typical classroom.

Other legal educators have followed suit. The University of Oklahoma uses VR to recreate water reclamation sites related to case studies. Students in human rights law programs are using VR to learn about the plight of refugees in a more empathetic manner. The American Association of Law Libraries has also awarded $2,500 to the UNT Dallas College of Law to develop a VR app that helps future attorneys cultivate their in-trial public speaking skills. These developments are just the beginning of a trend that may reshape legal education.

Recreating Crime Scenes with Augmented and Virtual Reality

Beyond facilitating training, virtual and augmented reality in law enforcement makes the job of finding and charging a suspect much easier. Municipal law enforcement agencies in the US and UK have partnered with software companies to develop virtual reality and augmented reality crime scene models. In the past, law enforcement officers relied on pictures and short videos when reviewing crime scene evidence. Because images don’t provide a full view of the scene, they are liable to misinterpretation.

Miscommunicating crime scenes are not a problem when officers and lawyers use AR and VR technology to recreate crime scenes. Any time an officer needs to review a scene or show it to their superiors, they can enter or display a virtual rendering. Detectives and the jury no longer need to travel to the crime scene in-person to see the evidence.

See Why Ormuco’s Virtualization Platform Supports AR and VR

As we’ve seen, virtual reality trains the next generation of law enforcement officers and attorneys. What’s more, virtual and augmented reality can map crime scene investigations. To be truly useful, virtual reality applications in law enforcement requires data processing with low latency. 

That’s what Ormuco provides. Ormuco offers a software platform with virtualized IT resources. With Ormuco, training academies and legal institutions have the capacity to provision and manage thousands of computing nodes. Ormuco leverages 5G mobile connectivity to accelerate processing for real-time applications and is designed to handle AR/VR workloads of any kind. That’s essential when using AR/VR for critical operations.