Options employs cutting-edge virtual reality technology to create reality-based scenarios that program participants might encounter. The program is designed to engage middle school- and high school-age New Yorkers and let them practice how to respond in difficult situations, such as how to react when asked to join a gang.
The program was developed by the NYPD to augment the Neighborhood Policing initiative, with curriculum development assistance from the New York City Police Foundation. The Neighborhood Policing initiative is supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and helps contribute to the safety of all New Yorkers. This strategy was in place when the city achieved record-low crime in 2018.