Cadets in the police academy program at South Texas College will soon get hands-on training for emergency situations with a new virtual reality simulator.

The Virtra 300 is a new tool cadets and agencies in the Rio Grande Valley will use to train for emergencies—all in a virtual setting.

“In the Valley, police academies, this is the only one—now ICE, or the federal government has one,” said STC Instructor Victor Valdez.

The user of the tool is able to see five screens with projectors that display several scenarios they might face.

“For the simulations, that’s what’s kind of neat about this—I can push a button and I can either escalate the situation, or I can de-escalate,” Valdez said.

After the events that occurred in Virginia Wednesday morning, Valdez says whether you’re a cadet or already in the force, this type of training should be utilized to keep officers ready and on their toes.

“Those partners that want to come in and utilize this, it’s there for them,” said Valdez. “This is what we wanted, we want them to be aware that it’s there.”

The police academy program at STC is offered twice a year.