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At the risk or suggesting that early encounters with corporal punishment left me scarred (and glad of it), there’s something slightly kinky about this product. “The StressVest has an adjustable pain penalty,” the brochure informs. “[It] allows the instructor to set the penalty to the appropriate level of the student being trained.” Please sir, can I have some more? Yes you can! Part of the police training system designed around the StressVest (or vice versa) involves setting the black box to shock the trainees at random, to test their ability to keep on keeping on when they’re being distracted by, say, a Taser . . .

Me, I’d worry that the StressVest’s electro-shock therapy would create a deeply-ingrained negative response to whatever stimuli happened to occur at the time of the random jolt. Like, I dunno, the face of the bastard who strapped the StressVest on the officer in the first place.

Anyway, the StressVest laser tag-like system (with ouchies) solves several problems associated with simunitions training: the inability to interact normally with other participants (helmet head distorts audio), the lack of reward for hitting center mass (provided you consider shocking someone “a reward”), the worries about collateral damage and all that messy cleaning-up.

StressVest ain’t cheap. But then a lot of civilians like to sue the police for shooting them or a loved one “by mistake.” If the StessVest can better train po-po to react appropriately to real life scenarios, thereby avoiding ambulance-chasing shysters, thereby saving taxpayers money oh and lives, it’s totally worth it.

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  1. I was just thinking about how injury could be simulated to see how people could function after taking “battle damage.” Wasn’t sure how to strike the right balance of partial incapacitation vs. inflicting real injury.
    I suppose the saying is true: “if you shape it in your mind, you will find it in your life.”

  2. This is amazing technology. To enable those in law enforcement, to train even under the stress of having been inflicted with injury, what a great tool.


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