SIOUX CITY | The Woodbury County Sheriff's Office and the Sioux City Police Department will combine to pay $131,340 for a video training simulator that will be used by more than 100 sheriff's office and police workers.

The Woodbury County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved the county's cost portion, or $15,670, of the simulator, which Sheriff Dave Drew requested as a good training option for workers in the office. Drew said cost-sharing made the purchase more affordable.

"This is a great deal, to partner up on these types of things. We all benefit collectively," Drew said.

The VirTra Systems brand video simulator uses live weapons that will be converted for uses, including rifles and a taser that the two law enforcement entities are providing. It uses three interconnected, high-resolution screens to create an immersive training environment.

The training is aimed to help law enforcement workers make sound decisions on the fly in high-stress incidents. They can scan a situation, engage moving targets and overcome distractions at the scene, Sheriff's Office Major Todd Wieck said, and getting immediate feedback is a benefit, he added.

Wieck said the simulator is an essential form of training that will be highly used.

"It is our goal to get our entire staff on the simulator at least four times a year," he said.

The city police department agreed to pay $100,000 of the cost from a grant received.

Among the combined $1 million awarded in grants to 20 Woodbury County nonprofit organizations in September, the Missouri River Historical Development Inc. gave that money to the Sioux City Police Department for a video simulator. The county and city agencies split the remaining amount of the $131,340 cost.

The unit will be located at a police department location.


County and education reporter

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