Police trial firearm training vest that sends electric shock when laser shot is detected

Minister of State for Home Affairs Desmond Tan (centre) attending the Home Team Academy's seminar, on May 11, 2022. PHOTO: HTA

SINGAPORE - The police are running a trial on a new firearms training system using a vest that captures lasers shot from a gun and sends a vibration or electric shock to the wearer's abdomen.

Known as the StressVest, the training system is more realistic compared with the current one that uses pellets to imitate ammunition, the police said on Wednesday (May 11).

This is because lasers can better replicate the trajectory of bullets than pellets, they added.

The trial was announced during the Home Team Academy's workplan seminar, where various agencies, including the Singapore Civil Defence Force and Singapore Prison Service (SPS), presented some of their latest initiatives.

Station Inspector Muhamad Fazil Ismail said the StressVest is also able to provide data on the officer's performance.

"We can see how many times he was hit by lasers and monitor his heart rate during training," said Station Insp Muhamad Fazil, a senior trainer in the Singapore Police Force.

The trial for the StressVest has been ongoing since 2020. The technology is being used by law enforcement agencies abroad such as those in the United States.

Speaking at the seminar, Minister of State for Home Affairs Desmond Tan commended such training efforts: "These achievements show that together, we can keep pushing the boundaries and attain a higher level of training."

SPS also introduced a training prototype for its officers to practise using the oleoresin capsicum delivery system, more commonly known as pepper spray.

The spray is used by officers to protect themselves in a hostile environment, such as when an inmate turns violent.

The prototype resembles an aerosol spray can but instead of dispensing a chemical, a small camera snaps a picture of the target that will later be used to determine the accuracy of the spray.

Staff officer Muhammad Hafidz Johari said: "Currently we use water-based solutions as an irritant which takes time to clean up and refill. The new device will save us time and resources."

Deputy Superintendent Hafidz, who is in the prison service's capability planning and analysis department, added: "The prototype was built in-house using a 3D printer and open-source programs."

The Home Team Academy unveiled a revamped gallery on Wednesday, which showcases the achievements of various law enforcement agencies and their plans to keep Singapore safe.

Said Mr Tan: "(The gallery) caters to visitors with different interests using text, images, artefact displays and multimedia interactive."

The public can visit the gallery in the latter half of this year by making an appointment. Admission is free.

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