This report is dedicated to Hot Springs Village Police Chief, Ricky Middleton who retired today, June 1, 2022. Thank you Chief Ricky for 42 years of loyal service to Hot Springs Village.

The law enforcement officers in Hot Springs Village and Garland and Saline Counties share the use of a Milo Virtual Training Simulator located at the Hot Springs Village Police Training and Event Center. The Milo Simulator was purchased by the Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association.

In order to be a member of the Hot Springs Village Police Academy Alumni Association, one is required to take The Citizens’ Police Academy Class. This is an eight-week course, limited to only 40 participants. During the last week of the class, the students are given the opportunity to try out the Milo Simulator, which gives them an opportunity to experience some of the split-second scenarios that real-life police officers face in the line of duty. An instantaneous decision can very well mean the difference between life and death for anyone involved in a police scenario, which is why HSVPD utilizes the Milo Training System for their officers. The decisions the officer makes can determine whether he goes home to his family that day.

“This system is a great resource to have, providing quality, realistic scenarios enhancing the trainees’ experience. The MILO system provides over 800 different training scenarios; some stress-inducing, others are more skill-building.”

MILO is a computer system using projectors and a big screen, it is equipped with hundreds of different real-life simulated scenarios. Using artificial intelligence technology, the simulated scenarios may have different outcomes based on the user’s reactions. The system allows officers, recruits, and citizens to experience simulated real-life police and/or self-defense training.

Before the students tried out the Milo Simulator, Hot Springs Village Police Chief, Ricky Middleton, gave the class members the opportunity to hold a Glock 22 – 40 caliber (without a magazine) to show what the police carry all the time.

Regarding firearm accuracy, the Chief said that if someone can point a finger, he can get them to be on target.

Middleton said, “Tonight, I am going to let you be the police officer. There are shoot, no shoot situations. You have to decide and the machine will tell me whether you successfully make it or whether you don’t go home. That is what a police officer has to deal with every day. Every day he knows that there may be a situation that he has to use his firearm, whether he may or may not go home.”

The exact date of the next Citizens’ Police Academy class has not been determined, but it will be sometime next fall.

Villager and retired Chicago police officer, Andrew Jones, Jr allowed us to video a demonstration of the MILO Training System which is attached in a short video below.

Public usage of the MILO is available for recreational and entertainment use only. Operational instructions are provided, but training and/or legal advice is not a part of the experience. Reservations are required; there are no walk-ins. To make a reservation, contact HSVCPAAA. Participants must sign a waiver. Anyone under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent, custodian, or guardian.

Written by Joe and Cheryl Dowden – Video and cover by Joe Dowden