First Responders Train In Virtual Real World Scenarios Through Opening Of “STARS” Facility

Freehold: Sheriff Shaun Golden, along with leaders in police, fire and EMS throughout Monmouth County, were proud to unveil a new and innovative approach to training for all first responders, through the Situational Training And Response Simulator, STARS, facility on June 14. The state of the art facility includes the VirTra Simulator, a decision making and tactical firearms virtual threat simulator which is equipped with five large screens and shows real life types of scenarios.

“We are proud to be able to offer this high level state of the art training to first responders through our VirTra Simulator, designed to engage them in real life situations where judgement decisions have to be made,” said Sheriff Shaun Golden. “This new and exciting effort will provide those with an opportunity to train on de-escalating a situation and help address homeland security issues, counterterrorism efforts and the public safety challenges members of police fire and EMS are faced with in Monmouth County and beyond.”

The STARS building, located on Dutch Lane Road in Freehold, is an initiative with the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Monmouth County Police Academy, the Monmouth County Police Chiefs Association, the Monmouth County Fire Marshal’s Office and the Monmouth County EMS Task Force.     

“The STARS facility is a great response and innovation to supplement the current law enforcement training curriculum and I’m proud to be a part of this initiative, especially in times when there is an increase in threats, risks of active shooter scenarios and an overall greater danger to law enforcement,” said Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni. “The virtual training takes officers out of the classroom and allows them to develop quick decision making skills to real life situations, a benefit that will clearly save lives.   

The VirTra system is one of the most enhanced training simulators in the country with 300 degrees of situational awareness. It is loaded with more than 100 scenarios, each with different outcomes and has the capability of custom making situations to the areas in which first responders work. The intense training uses virtual reality to fight real life crime which will enhance public and officer safety.

“This is a well-planned facility, since the training is aimed at preparing the officer and protecting the public through split second decision making and solid marksmanship,” said Edward Kerr, Spring Lake Police Chief and President of the Monmouth County Police Chiefs Association. “The risk will be simulated but the benefits will be real.”

In addition to the virtual threat simulator, the STARS facility includes a school classroom area for active shooter incidents, a correctional housing unit for cell extraction drills, a domestic violence response training area and a K-9 agility course.

“This is a great day for our first responders who will now receive the some of the highest level of training in the country,” said Lillian G. Burry, Freeholder Director and liaison to the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office.  “I commend all of those involved in this endeavor. It is the result of proactive thinking to bring the latest technology and training opportunities to law enforcement in Monmouth County and the state.”

To schedule training at the STARS facility please contact Undersheriff Fred Deickmann at (732) 431-6400 ext. 1107 or by email at

For a downloadable version of this press release, click here:  News-Release-First-Responders-Train-in-Virtual-Real-World-Scenarios-Through-STARS