ROCKLAND — The Rockland Police Department has received a grant to purchase a simulator that will offer additional training for officers to de-escalate situations.

City Manager Tom Luttrell announced the grant award at the City Council’s Wednesday, Oct. 12 meeting. He praised retired Deputy Police Chief Joel Neal who applied for the grant before his retirement.

The department applied for the grant through the Midcoast Council of Governments with the $67,500 grant funded from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The equipment that will be acquired is an “APEX” Trainer Simulator.

“My focus with this great opportunity is not just the fact that it offers great use-of-force training, but more importantly, we can immerse our officers into the latest scenarios of de-escalation and crisis intervention training,” Police Chief Tim Carroll said. “They will be able to dictate positive outcomes of a multitude of scenarios if handled properly thru their actions, discussions and commands. We are very fortunate to have this opportunity to provide our officers with some of the most up-to-date law enforcement training offered to continue to serve the people of Rockland even better.”

The company states in its website that, “With the help of 1000s of our law enforcement partners, Apex Officer built the best virtual reality police training simulator on the market. Law enforcement agencies ranging from local municipalities, sheriff’s offices, state police, correctional facilities, and more train with Apex Officer daily.”

Apex Officer’s president, Chase Dittmer, states on the company’s website that Apex Officer VR simulator is an essential tool for preparing officers for the challenges they may face on the job.

“It’s one thing to read about a situation or see it on a video, but it’s another thing entirely to experience it firsthand,” Haas said. “With the Apex Officer simulator, officers can get that realistic experience in a safe and controlled environment.”

The Apex Officer VR simulator has already been credited with helping to save lives in several real-world incidents, according to the company.

The city manager said Rockland has also received a grant to install two electric vehicle chargers at the Rockland Public Library and two at City Hall.