NYPD Options Virtual Reality Program


NYPD Uses VR To Teach Kids How To Make Good Choices

January 23, 2019 - 11:51 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- The NYPD is going high-tech to keep kids safe on the city streets.

Kids are putting on virtual reality headsets and taking part in computer simulations of New York street life under a new program, funded with a $500,00 grant from the New York City Police Foundation.

The program, called "Options," simulates real-life encounters and demonstrates the reward in making good choices. In the simulations, children may be asked to join a gang or commit a crime. In the scenarios, they may also be stopped by the police.

“The NYPD is always innovating in our continued effort to fight crime and keep people safe. And we also know that public safety is a shared responsibility, so many of our best ideas are those that directly connect us with the people we serve. That is why we are excited to announce the Options program, which is the nexus of community engagement, cutting-edge technology, and creative problem-solving. And it further proves that when we work together, we make the safest large city in America even safer,” said Police Commissioner James O’Neill.       

So far about 300 young people, mostly from Brooklyn, have participated in the program, which is held in three one-hour sessions.

About 100 officers have been trained in administering the program, which is intended for middle and high school-aged children. 

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