WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Westfield Police Department is getting state funding for a new piece of equipment.

State Senator John Velis will be in Westfield Monday to announce a $59,800 cost-sharing earmark from the FY2022 budget to purchase and install a Apex Virtual Reality police training simulator for the department’s police officers, which was unanimously approved by the Westfield City Council last week.

“At the end of the day, this funding is about making Westfield an even safer place for our residents and police officers. Smaller departments, like Westfield, typically don’t have access to this level of technology. I am extremely proud to have secured this funding for the Department during the FY’22 budget process,” said Senator Velis 

According to Velis’ office, the simulator will enhance officers’ ability to prepare for real-life situations and provide them with feedback on how they performed. A virtual environment provides officers with the opportunity to learn de-escalation techniques, respond to shooters, conduct building checks, and deal with domestic violence calls.