August 6, 2020

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Using Tech to Train and Improve Performance of Frontline Officers in Singapore

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In Singapore today, officers’ firearm competency can be improved by using a better training system. The Enhanced Live Firing Range System (ELFRAS), a project initiated by the HTX Human Factors and Simulation Centre of Expertise, uses sensors and analytics to improve the shooting accuracy of those taking the test.

HTX is Singapore’s Science and Technology Agency for homeland security, delivering cutting edge technologies to empower the Home Team departments in their daily operations such as crime solving, border security, cyber security, public safety and first responder capabilities to accomplish our shared mission to keep Singapore safe and secure.

Before the introduction of the Enhanced Live Firing Range System, the police officers were only able to see where their shots had landed when the target boards were retrieved at the end of the basic firing shoot.

They had to rely on the instructor to give them feedback on areas they could improve on, based on the instructor’s experience and observation of the grouping of the shots. There was no real-time analysis after each shot was fired.

While most passed the test, the minority who failed could not go back to work on the frontline until they re-took the test and passed it.

How New Tech System Can Improve Training Performance

The system not only provides information on the grouping of the shots, but also does real-time analysis of human factor indices such as weapon handling, breathing, shooting posture and stance, trigger motion, gaze fixation and visual alignment, so that timely and targeted training feedback can be provided.

It also has a video-monitor which displays the shots on the target in real time, so officers can see immediately how they have performed.

ELFRAS tactically deploys sensors to pick up minute physiological human factors, which could affect the shot accuracy of the person taking the test:

  • A weapon sensor attached to the revolver measures if the officer is moving his weapon in the right way for maximum accuracy.
  • With a pair of eye-tracking glasses, which not only tracks his gaze point and can compute how long he has fixed his gaze on the target, it can even measure how often he has blinked his eyes.
  • A breathing sensor tells the officer if his breathing is creating “up-down” movements of the weapon.
  • A posture camera at the firing range captures how the officer is moving his entire body. This can be mapped against a library of good shooting postures.

The data is further analysed and compared against best practices, so the shooter gets recommendations on how he can improve. For instance, he might learn how to adapt his breathing techniques to get better shots.

The HTX team is also providing detailed design recommendations for the user interface to provide trainers with a one-glance view of the overall performance, including sufficient shot-by-shot detail so that the trainer can gain immediate insight on the performance gaps. This would enable the trainer to provide timely intervention to the trainee in between shots.

ELFRAS also monitors the shooting performance of officers not just within a single shooting exercise but over multiple exercises as well. With all the data, training pedagogy can be customised to increase the number of marksmen.

Apart from the police force, ELFRAS could be used by frontline officers in other Home Team departments like the Central Narcotics Bureau, and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority.

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