The Harvest Foundation is partnering with the Piedmont Regional Criminal Justice Training Academy to bring a MILO Range M-SATS Interactive Mobile Situational Awareness Training Simulator system to the region.

The MILO Range M-SATS Interactive Mobile Situational Awareness Training Simulator is a training simulator that is a comprehensive solution designed to allow trainers the ability to give presentations and classes, conduct interactive testing and assessment and provide immersive hands-on scenario-based exercises with detailed debriefing and after-action review. The Harvest Foundation provided $10,000 through a Pick Up the Pace Grant! to help purchase the system.

“This is an additional tool in the toolbox for our local law enforcement to use in training and retaining the very best talent possible for our community,” said DeWitt House, senior program officer at The Harvest Foundation. “It’s also an effective resource in educating the community about the tough decisions our local officers face every day on the job. We’re eager to see this new training tool be put to use in Martinsville-Henry County.”

The training simulator is designed to increase trainee knowledge, skills and confidence in a safe, challenging environment that is highly interactive and engaging, according to Debbie Kaczor, executive director of the Piedmont Regional Criminal Justice Training Academy.

“This system in its entirety will provide multiple avenues of training with both verbal and non-verbal skills and can strengthen and improve appropriate criminal justice responses to different situations,” she said.

Kaczor said she believes this type of training system will provide invaluable training to local agencies to adequately prepare and reinforce those skills that are commanded in their jobs, and best help them serve local citizens.

“With the ability for the public to utilize the system during Criminal Justice events,” Kaczor added, “it will also provide them the opportunity to be in the same situations officers are trained, giving everyone more transparency and understanding. It can be used as a tool to enhance public trust and confidence in the personnel who serve their communities.”

Other partners for the program include the Community Foundation of the Dan River Region and local law enforcement agencies. The training academy serves 13 different criminal justice agencies, including Patrick County, Martinsville and Henry County, Pittsylvania County, Danville City, Gretna and Chatham.

The Harvest Foundation’s Pick Up the Pace! grants program is a competitive, small grants program designed to engage people and organizations in sparking innovative ideas, collaborations and change in Martinsville and Henry County. These six-month grants for up to $10,000 are available for application year-round. To find out more, visit www.theharvestfoundation.org or call (276) 632-3329.