Lexington County Sheriff’s Dept. tests new public safety technology

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO)—Deputies from the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department experienced some of the latest technology in public safety.

Hosted by the tech company Axon, the roadshow allowed law enforcement to experience interactive product demos.

Virtual reality training provided deputies in-depth scenarios on how to exhibit more compassion and empathy during interactions, gave them de-escalation tactics, and provided virtual reality scenarios with people who have a mental illness.

Captain Adam Myrick with LCSD finds the new virtual reality training to be a win for law enforcement and the community.

“Some of the training simulations here that are a part of the roadshow are important because they show different members of our community. Those with special needs and those with mental health concerns that sometimes come to the surface and lead us to respond to certain locations. So having that training is important because it teaches officers and it equips us on how to best engage with them, how to interact with them and interface with their family members as well,” says Captain Myrick.

One virtual reality scenario allows officers to interact with a person who has autism. The program then allows the deputy to virtually swap places and experience the person with autism’s point of view while speaking with someone in law enforcement.

“We want to make sure that the public knows that we are helping officers recognize other triggers and other ways to de-escalate a situation. A lot of our feedback provides newer and much better scenarios so that way the officer gets the best education possible,” says Ruben Leal, Axon Roadshow Coordinator.

Drone technology with thermal imaging was also on display. “This drone has the ability to zoom in from far distances. So it’s really good if they’re trying to follow someone outdoors or maybe if there’s a barricaded suspect and they’re trying to survey the entire scene,” says Derek Disorbo with Axon.

A taser firing range and body camera instruction was also available for law enforcement to try out.

“Protecting clearer truth by having body cameras with 4 microphones and a high definition camera. To have a full 180 picture around you is as good as the human eye to see what’s happening around so that when we play that it protects the officer and the civilian. The whole point of this is protecting everyone in the picture and trying to be all encompassing in the public safety field,” says Axon Roadshow Coordinator Andy Meaney.

“That’s what today is all about. Having that opportunity to see new technology that helps us better serve our community and better interact and engage with our community as well,” says Captain Myrick.

Meaney says Axon will visit over 90 law enforcement agencies on the east coast in the coming months.

Categories: Lexington, Local News