Driving simulator will help Tenn. PD reduce crashes, lower patrol car maintenance costs

Driving simulator will help Tenn. PD reduce crashes, lower patrol car maintenance costs

By Ellen Gerst
Chattanooga Times Free of charge Press, Tenn.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Chattanooga law enforcement are hoping a new driving simulator unit, to be used for teaching, will enable decreased servicing expenses for patrol autos and cut down the number of incidents involving officers.

In 2022, the department invested much more than $5 million sustaining patrol vehicles, in accordance to data acquired by way of a community information request. It put in all over $3.4 million on maintenance in 2021, info exhibits, and just beneath $5 million in 2020. The Police Department has 616 cars and trucks in its fleet, most of them marked patrol vehicles.

Concerning 2020 and 2022, Chattanooga patrol cars and trucks were being involved in 362 mishaps, section facts displays — 150 in 2022, 116 in 2021 and 96 in 2020. 30-two officers and civilians have been hurt in those people accidents, in accordance to the division. Most mishaps involving patrol autos are insignificant, Assistant Chief Jerri Sutton said.

“The majority of the incidents occur whilst we are en route to phone calls for support,” Sutton stated throughout an job interview at the department last week.

The new L3Harris PatrolSim simulator, which cost the section $130,700, is built of a driver’s seat experiencing a dashboard, steering wheel and laptop computer in entrance of a panel of screens. The interior is a around duplicate of the inside of of patrol cars Chattanooga officers use each working day, Lt. David Young said in the course of a new media briefing.

The simulator can also replicate other cars, such as ambulances and armored SWAT vehicles, which lets officers to start out schooling on these before truly getting at the rear of the wheel of one particular, Youthful mentioned.

“But certainly we’re most concerned about the items that we travel on a every day basis,” coaching officer Ryan Lynn said at the briefing.

Education officers sit outside the house the simulator home, managing everything from highway problems and other motorists that seem on the screens to the car’s brakes and air conditioning.

The department strategies to use the unit for regimen teaching for new and existing officers and to carry out remedial training for officers who get into accidents or have other concerns with their driving, Younger claimed.

The simulator presents a report right after training sessions, pinpointing the driver’s blunders and ways to enhance.

“And probably they’re going to suitable how they are driving in the streets,” Youthful reported. “We’re just seeking to lower the volume of accidents that we have in a controlled natural environment in advance of they get into the genuine entire world.”

Patrol cars and trucks in Chattanooga have also been geared up with new gear that might assistance lessen incidents on the way to phone calls, Sutton explained.

New external sirens, small-frequency rumblers and gentle bars ended up installed on top rated of all patrol automobiles commencing in November, according to Sutton. The new equipment should make responding officers extra audible and seen to other motorists, Sutton said.

“We were being not as visible by the SUVs out there, and so the light bar has assisted in that feeling,” she stated.

Rumblers can be heard greater than high-pitched sirens in excess of website traffic and other noises, Sutton said.

Patrol autos, which have had blue emergency lights for decades, also added red lights to make them less complicated to see at all instances of day and for men and women with colorblindness, said Sue Poole, the department’s fleet and services supervisor.

“We have discovered our intersection collisions have long gone down due to the fact we have the audio going out, up and all around us, and the lights have assisted with that,” Poole explained.

The section ideas to research how the new products affects incidents and consider their functionality right after a yr of use, Poole claimed.

A patrol car is typically in company for about 8 yrs right before staying rotated out, in accordance to Poole. The department employs a formulation that features mileage, buy price tag and cumulative maintenance price to decide when to get a vehicle off the streets, Poole mentioned.

While most servicing on police autos is completed in the city’s garage, Poole claimed cars are at times despatched out for additional critical collision repairs, outfitting and repairs covered by warranties.

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