Empathize with victims

The latest tool to help police develop empathy for the public: Virtual reality headsets

When dealing with someone experiencing a mental-health crisis, one of the most valuable tools a police officer has is empathy. Being able to empathize with the victim, experts say, is often the first step in de-escalating a crisis before it turns even more chaotic or dangerous. And yet, in a high-pressure situation, when a first responder is confronting someone in the throes of a suicidal or psychotic episode, empathetic feelings are often replaced by another feeling entirely: paralyzing fear.


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