Waynesburg University CSI incorporates driving simulator

The lower level of Waynesburg University’s CSI house has a new addition; one that cost $125,000 thanks to a generous donor. The new addition is a Patrol Simulator by L3Harris.

“This has always been on my wish list,” Chairperson for the Criminal Justice and Social Sciences Department Adam Jack said. “When I pitched to [the donor] what we could do in training local law enforcement as well as the next generation of law enforcement, our own students, he was all in.”

“The simulator is actually a really great tool for not only police driving and pursuits, but also just distracted driving,” Jack said.

Scenarios the simulator can replicate include, but are not limited to, a dog or pedestrian running in front of the vehicle, traffic, flat tires, time of day, weather, and the check engine light coming on.

“I definitely think it gives us a really good opportunity to get that experience that a lot of other universities don’t have,” president of the criminal justice club Michael Saliba said.

“The sophomore level courses are implementing it into the curriculum this year,” Jack said. “We hope to soon have a senior level simulations course where we have more time in the laser-shot simulator and more time in the driving simulator to get them oriented with the more advanced techniques we can utilize with both of those.”

But Jack does not want to stop there.

“We’re still finding ways to implement it,” Jack said.

Bringing in high school students who are new drivers has been discussed as a possibility.

“To my knowledge we’re one of the only schools in the United States utilizing a driving simulator to train undergraduate students,” Jack said. “It just lends another level of training for our students that other people aren’t getting.”