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Why Use Reality Based Training?

We live in the Information Age, a time of technological advancement and increased access to digitized knowledge. With this enhanced availability, there are now hundreds of options when selecting public safety training for law enforcement, dispatchers, and correctional officers.

Why should you choose reality-based training?

Builds Decision Making Skills

Reality-based training engages users in real-life scenarios you are likely to experience on the job.

For law enforcement officers, you may suspect that a person has images of a crime on his cell phone and will destroy those images as soon as you leave. When can you seize the phone without a warrant?

For dispatchers, you could receive a call from a mother reporting that she just shot her infant daughter. How do you maintain composure and obtain information from the distressed caller? How do you address the child’s injuries and navigate your own mental health challenges after such a disturbing call?

For correctional officers, you could believe that an inmate’s mobility aid poses a security risk. When, legally, can you restrict an inmate’s access to mobility aids?

By using real life examples as the basis for training, you can study the successes and mistakes of others and gird yourself with a strong foundation of skills to properly manage these incidents in the correct way.

Stimulates Mental Acuity & Mental Preparedness

Public safety professionals must stay strong and alert during even the most horrific situations.

For law enforcement officers, it could be a home invasion. For dispatchers, it could be a school shooting. For correctional officers, it could be an inmate suicide.

How do you prepare your body and mind to manage this weight?

By studying real-life situations handled by your peers, you can build mental preparedness and stress inoculation. These skills are only built through training and exposure. By equipping yourself with these skills, you can approach the situation with the mental awareness and confidence needed to make effective decisions.


It is extremely difficult to mimic the complexities of an emergency in a way public safety professionals can accept as reality. When you use hypotheticals, you don’t have the benefit of knowing how the situation actually turned out.

For law enforcement officers, when could you use deadly force against a suspect without first providing a warning?

For dispatchers, how can you identify behaviors that suggest the caller is not being as forthcoming as possible?

For correctional officers, when is it legally acceptable to delay responding to an inmate’s medical emergency while you wait for backup?

In many cases, you must make a split-second decision. How do you know it was a good decision? Reality-based training provides you with the necessary tools and skills to manage these incidents. In this approach, you are exposed to a variety of very real possibilities that you could encounter and can prepare for these situations in a controlled and analytical environment.

PLS Reality-Based Training

PLS offers online reality-based training for law enforcement, dispatchers, and correctional officers.

Legal Update is the only online state-specific law enforcement legal training system for Iowa and Missouri officers that examines and analyzes real court cases and places the lesson taker in the position of the officer at the scene. Lessons examine how the court reviewed the officer’s actions to better equip them to make good decisions in the field. PLS also offers Interpersonal Perspectives and Technical Skills lessons addressing topics such as racial profiling, implicit bias, de-escalation, sexual assault investigations, human trafficking investigations, bloodborne pathogens, hazardous materials awareness refresher training, and other issues. Click here to learn more.

Dispatch Pro analyzes real 911 calls to strengthen the decision-making skills of dispatchers and prepare them for low-frequency high-risk calls that may come at any time. Lessons analyze every aspect of the call including questioning techniques, professionalism, and customer service. Dispatch Pro also satisfies most state CDE requirements and qualifies for EMD recertification credit with IAED and APCO. Click here to learn more.

Jail Pro examines real civil lawsuits to strengthen the decision-making skills of correctional officers to reduce legal liability risks at correction and detention facilities nationwide. Each lesson helps officers understand which specific actions and practices create the most liability exposure. Jail Pro training educates officers on relevant laws, regulations, and precedents so they are equipped with the correct knowledge to make good decisions and avoid legal liability. Click here to learn more.

Check out our website to learn more about PLS reality-based training.

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