DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — Danville Area Community College and the Danville Police Department have partnered to share a program that trains officers on how to respond effectively in “emotionally charged situations.”
The program is called MILO. It is an interactive crime-simulation system. Not only will it train officers on how to effectively respond in different situations, but it will also give DACC Criminal Justice students real-life policing experience.
DACC Criminal Justice Professor Rickey Williams Sr. said he persuaded the college to buy the MILO system after meeting with agents from the U.S. Department of Justice. “It’s an extremely valuable tool for teaching and for training,” said Williams. “Because the system runs scenarios that are true-to-life. It will give out students an advanced view of what professionals in the criminal justice field face in the line of duty.” The system is being temporarily housed in the city’s Public Safety Building.
Officials said the system has more than 900 scenarios that officers may experience while on the job. Through artificial intelligence, those scenarios may have different outcomes based on how officers react. “Each scenario can go five or six different ways, depending o how the officer communicates with the people on the screen and the action that the officer takes,” said Danville Police Chief Chris Yates. “The computer changes the response of the role player, leading to either positive for negative consequences.” When DPD officers got a look at the system during the first week of June, they immediately started getting refresher training. Officials said the plan is to give that training continuously for both DPD as well as the Vermilion County Sheriff’s Department.